Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller on NFC, Wireless Charging and the Lightning Connector

AllThingsD's Ina Fried caught up with Apple's Phil Schiller after the introduction of the iPhone 5 this afternoon. She asked him about a number of new technologies that did -- and didn't -- make it into the company's new flagship phone.

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It’s not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem, Schiller said. "Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today."

As for wireless charging, Schiller notes that the wireless charging systems still have to be plugged into the wall, so it’s not clear how much convenience they add. The widely-adopted USB cord, meanwhile, can charge in wall outlets, computers and even on airplanes, he said.

"Having to create another device you have to plug into the wall is actually, for most situations, more complicated," Schiller said.

Fried also spoke to Schiller about the new Lightning connector. He noted that it wasn't possible to make devices any thinner with the existing 30-pin Dock Connector, though the company doesn't take changing the plug -- which had been around for 9 years -- lightly. "This is the new connector for many years to come," Schiller explained.

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Top Rated Comments

Cougarcat Avatar
155 months ago
"This is the new connector for many years to come," Schiller explained.

So, why not USB 3?
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mad Mac Maniac Avatar
155 months ago
I agree with everything he said.

So are we stuck with usb 2.0 for another 9 years?

I am highly confident that Apple could update it to usb 3/thunderbold without changing the "lighting" connector.

Plus I also forsee people using the cable to sync to a computer less and less over the next 9 years. I personally haven't plugged my iPhone into my Mac since iOS 5 hit nearly a year ago.

meh
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
goobot Avatar
155 months ago
So are we stuck with usb 2.0 for another 9 years?
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sixtafoua Avatar
155 months ago
NFC is awesome, I don't care what the haterz say
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cvaldes Avatar
155 months ago
So, why not USB 3?
USB 3 only carries digital data and power. It doesn't offer things like simple iPod signalling, analog audio and video signals (for relatively simple connection to other A/V devices).

In future iOS devices, USB 3 could be implemented for the data portion of the interface, but a connector with more pins is needed for the additional functionality.

Note that various docks and cable adapters from the old 30-pin connector have offered line-out audio, composite video, S-Video, component video, HDMI, etc.

I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't a USB 3 compatible iPhone 5 prototype sitting in a lab somewhere in Cupertino.

My guess is that current USB 3 chip solutions for mobile devices were evaluated and rejected as relatively power hungry (plus only a few computers actually have USB 3 interfaces) but as the standard becomes more prevalent and more power-thrifty chips are available, that this technology will eventually make it into an iOS device.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Skika Avatar
155 months ago
I'm not. Apple is very comfortable in their proprietary ecosystem.

This post makes no sense.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)