Monday, August 06, 2012

Is Apple planning an across-the-board dock connector refresh?

We already know - or at least assume - that Apple is going to release a new 19-pin dock connector with its iPad mini, iPhone 5, iPod nano and new iPod touch, but now it looks like the iPad might jump onto the new dock connector bandwagon, too.

Apple's current dock connector has 30 pins. The move to a smaller connector, most believe, is so that Apple can save space, which it can utilize for other internal components or a larger battery.

Apple could have moved to a standard microUSB connector, but as the company is wont to do, it went its own way. Apple is said to be providing an adapter to allow current cables to work with the new connector.

What wasn't clear is if Apple would take a device that is out-of-cycle in terms of an update - the iPad 3 (AKA new iPad or third-generation iPad) - and update it with the connector, as well. A new report indicates that Apple will do so, rendering six- or seven-month-old iPads somewhat obsolete (the dock connector adapter will work with cables, but it's hard to see how something like a stereo dock could use it).

It's also possible, the report said, that Apple could consider this a good time to update the iPad, to a fourth-generation device with more than just a dock connector change. We doubt that - seriously - but there were rumors just last week of a fourth-generation iPad with a rear microphone, the new dock connector, and heat reduction in the form of hardware changes. 125x125 banner, image is updated by season.
Aside from that, the iPad would remain unchanged.

All of this sounds somewhat difficult to believe, and consider this: if Apple were to do this, and decide to change the dock connector on iDevices across the board, why has there been no talk (yet) about a refreshed iPod shuffle or iPod Classic?

On September 12, Apple is expected to announce (at the very least) the iPhone 5, with retail release on September 21. With Apple's secretive nature, and no lost devices this year, all this will just be rumor, until then.

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