Why I don’t want Apple to replace the 30-pin connector with a smaller one

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Today might’ve been full of Windows Phone 8 news, but that doesn’t mean some other interesting technology happenings didn’t take place. One of those happenings is the “confirmation” of Apple’s new dock connector for its next-gen iPhone by TechCrunch. The site “independently verified” that the next iPhone will indeed sport a slimmed-down dock connector as seen in this video, which was published on June 7.

Obviously, Apple hasn’t come forward with a confirmation of the rumor or given any statement at all, but this new dock connector has been rumored for some time. And given Apple’s stance on getting rid of legacy I/O to make room for new and improved products, I think these rumors and leaks are going to end up being very good indications of what Apple will introduce this fall.

To be quite frank, that upsets me to no end. Apple is not a company that’s known for following industry-wide standards, but its devices are so popular that its previous connector – the insanely-ubiquitous 30-pin – is basically a standard itself. But this new connector will ruin that for Apple, its customers, and even the manufacturers that make accessories for iDevices, because now those manufacturers will have to make 30-pin connectorscompatible accessories and new connector-compatible accessories. In other words, Apple is back to making proprietary ports that make no sense.

This new connector seems to be very similar in size to small ports that already exist – namely micro- and miniUSB. Almost every device put out on the market today uses one of the two, with microUSB being the more popular variant. But regardless of which one is more popular, the point is that they already exist and people already use them and accessories for them can be found at any electronics store.

Are standards just too easy for Apple to use? Does the company feel the need to create its own, proprietary hardware to feel special, more profitable, or even more popular? If it’s any of those things, then I pity the leaders at Apple who have a difficult time understanding how the rest of the mobile phone industry works and prospers. Products can still be beautiful without special connectors, especially when the company I’m writing about has arguably some of the best product designers in the world.

I understand the lust Apple has towards thinness and being able to cram more tech into a small package, but it can be achieved without its own port designs that can make the devices incompatible with other companies’ products. I just wish Apple could see that, but we are talking about a company that loves to dictate everything about its products.

How do you feel about Apple adding a new dock connector?

[TechCrunch]
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Calob Horton

Calob Horton is an associate editor at Pocketables. He loves all technology, no matter which company it comes from. This unbiased view of the tech world allows him to choose the products that best fit his personal needs and tastes: a Microsoft Surface Pro, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and a third-gen iPad.Google+ | Twitter | More posts by Calob | Subscribe to Calob's posts

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14 thoughts on “Why I don’t want Apple to replace the 30-pin connector with a smaller one

  • Avatar of Marvin the Martian
    June 20, 2012 at 10:52 pm
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    If they really change the connector, they will be doing the proverbial “shooting oneself in one’s own foot”….and it may drive more people towards Android.

    I don’t think it would be a wise move for them at all….

    Reply
  • Avatar of Frank
    June 20, 2012 at 11:01 pm
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    They charge licensing fees for use of their connector, and they exert some degree of control over the accessory market thru that… At the end of the day Apple is still a hardware company that remains highly profitable by selling said hardware at a large premium, thus ensuring higher profit margins than almost anyone else… They view proprietary connectors and walled off software as a means to that end, nothing more.

    All their design ethos still takes a backseat to those principles, maybe not as far as core product design but certainly when it comes to the details and sourcing parts, etc. They won’t lose, because their market isn’t large enough for this to cause real upheaval and because said market is more than willing topony up for new hardware anyway.

    Besides, this is like the third time they change the connector… Sure it remained physically identical in the past but they’ve changed the pin out or added extra identifier hardware in the past, end result was the same or worse…. At least this time there’s hope the smaller connector can be adapted to the larger one.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Mark Roddis
    June 20, 2012 at 11:47 pm
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    Of course this is all speculation however if the new connector were a Micro USB one bringing Apple in line with the standard that all other phone manufacturers have chosen to adopt in the name of interoperability (and less landfill) then you could understand that. Sure it would be a pain but in the longer term it would benefit the end user

    If however they end up with a different but still proprietary connector then this would just highlight the arrogance and contempt Apple have towards their end users and all those accessory manufacturers who have made the Apple ecosystem what it is.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård
    June 21, 2012 at 8:28 am
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    My biggest concern isn’t that the new connector isn’t microUSB, but that it’s seemingly as small as one. MicroUSB is a fragile piece of S, while the 30 pin connector is epically stable. I would pay serious money to get a proprietary 30 pin connector on my S II because it’s far easier DIYing cables and docks than fixing the phone once the microUSB connector breaks.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Woldstad
      June 21, 2012 at 4:04 pm
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      Thank you. I thought I was the only one.

      Reply
    • Avatar of DSmithee
      June 22, 2012 at 2:44 pm
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      I’ve never broken a microUSB connector. And I’m not overly gentle with them, either.

      Reply
  • Avatar of Josiah Campbell
    June 21, 2012 at 9:51 am
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    Changing the standard will be glorious for accessory makers because they will abandon the old and make more money with the new. As for Apple, changing up standards is nothing new: even magsafe has become a (less) widely known port, but they’ve replaced that with Magsafe 2.
    Nothing about the imminent change to 19-pin is inherently bad.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Michael Perry
    June 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm
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    Since you write for a tech based blog I want to assume you know very intimately the tech you write about… You do realize that although micro and mini USB already exist, they don’t carry the same signals (i/o) which make the dock connector so versatile right? The reason for the 30pin connector in the first place is it carries USB signal, HD video signal, and line-level audio, and power which it can do simultaneously. Basically for mobile devices, 1 port to rule them all…
    Mini and Micro USB connectors don’t do that. That’s one of the reason why it’s such a popular device to make accessories for by manufacturers (although admittedly mostly audio manufacturers use it). That’s why you have 30pin connector to HDMI or component, or USB, or whatever you want because the 30pin connector is so versatile. It’s not just USB signal it sends.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Mariama
    June 21, 2012 at 10:17 pm
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    It does not make sense to me. Now we’ll have to upgrade the Apple product, plus all the accessories already bought. It’s like a deal breaker for me.

    Reply
  • Avatar of DSmithee
    June 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm
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    From Jobs’ arrogance in his intention to eliminate Flash, to Apple’s insistence on special connectors/chargers, etc…is it any wonder I won’t give my money to the company?

    Reply
  • Avatar of Mark
    June 23, 2012 at 9:04 pm
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    Android, here I come! Apple, you have pissed me off. I’m getting rid of my iMac and my iPad too I’d this happens. I’m done! The money I will have to spend on upgrading my accessories, I’d rather spend on new technology that will remain compatible and usable for more years to come. Buh-bye!

    Reply
    • Avatar of Rupak
      December 1, 2012 at 11:48 pm
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      Shat shnorhakalutyun heqriaqtr hodva&i hamar. Erevi mer azgakicneri hamar heqriaqtr klini ayn paste, vor Steve Jobse vordegrvel ev me&acel e haykakan entaniqum: Mayre: Clara Jobs (Hakobian) , hayre : Paul Jobs (Hakobian).

      Reply
  • Avatar of Robert
    July 4, 2012 at 6:52 pm
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    If apple changes to the standard I can see them filing lawsuits stating that everyone stole it from them like they do everything else.

    Reply

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