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First Pictures of Apple's New Mini Connector 303

Posted by timothy
from the ok-now-complain-about-it dept.
tad001 writes "The Daily Mail has pictures of Apple's new mini connector. The photograph, shared by French tech website nowhereelse.fr, shows two components, one of which is said to be similar to another apparently leaked picture of a part of the new iPhone. As well as the new dock connector, the part also seems to take in the headphone jack and the home button connector for the hotly awaited devices."
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First Pictures of Apple's New Mini Connector

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  • by Krojack (575051) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @03:11PM (#41014971)

    for any look-a-like dock connectors!

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Quoting in your sig the worst Star Trek show ever made? Wow. And yes Apple will get sued: By the European Union which mandated a standard connector (mini USB).

      • by Desler (1608317) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @03:27PM (#41015209)

        No they won't. They provide an adapter which complies with the rules.

      • by msauve (701917) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @03:33PM (#41015309)
        There is no such "mandate." The EU encouraged, and some set of cell phone manufacturers voluntarily agreed to, the adoption of the micro USB connector for charging. I don't know if Apple was part of that group, I suspect not. It's not required by law, although Apple does provide an adapter which allows using micro USB chargers.
        • And then there was motorolla, who allowed a micro usb for charging, but insisted on having motorolla drivers and software installed on a system before you could charge it from a P.C. You then had a choice beteen the official licenced charger, or plugging it into a p.c. with their software installed. .

          • by msauve (701917)
            I'm not sure you're correct. The USB spec only allows a powered device to draw 100 mA without enumerating. Most devices don't bother, and will simply try to pull a full 500 mA from a regular USB port, in violation of the spec.

            Likewise, the USB charging spec says the data lines must be shorted by no more than 200 Ohms, in order to signal to a device that it may draw up to 1.5 A. Again, many devices (both USB chargers and PDs) ignore it. I've had a couple of Android phones which follow one part but not the o
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jellomizer (103300)

        I found that Enterprise was worse then Voyager. But it is a tossup.

        Voyager stupid idea for a plot, but at least is wasn't a copy of Gilligan's Island (I was worried they will have a new fangle way to get home every episode and fail at the list minute).

        Enterprise had a good idea of the plot, but they got too much time travel and alternate Universe crap in it. I would much rather see, much lower Warp factors. (Max warp of 3) No Klingon's, more with the Romulan War, and a little more about getting the federat

        • by LocalH (28506)

          Enterprise had a good idea of the plot, but they got too much time travel and alternate Universe crap in it.

          A single two-part episode was too much for you? I suppose you must really hate DS9 then, with five episodes that concerned the mirror universe somehow. Even TOS had an episode that was clearly mirror universe (and another episode where nothing is directly tied to the mirror universe, but that does depict the Defiant's trip to the mirror universe from the perspective of the regular universe).

          • I think he may be referring to the plot points surrounding timelines (alternate universe), more so than the two mirror universe episodes (which I found very entertaining, and think they could have changed to entire series to that universe and been more entertaining.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2012 @03:15PM (#41015027)

    Use standard USB like everyone else.

    • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday August 16, 2012 @03:19PM (#41015091) Journal

      Hush, don't you know that the slight functionality advantage of these stupid-ass proprietary connectors makes it totally worth it vs. having to plug in a second cable sometimes? Plus so many accessories on the market use the Apple connector that hasn't changed in yea...oh wait...

    • by tgd (2822)

      Use standard USB like everyone else.

      Everyone else doesn't use standard USB. Samsung, for example, has a dock-like connector, too. Why? For the same reason so many digital cameras have proprietary USB connectors -- you have other signals you need to provide. The dock connector has line level audio, video output, and a bunch of other things like that.

      For a simple charge-and-sync application, USB is fine, but there are no standard formats that include that PLUS video, audio, serial, etc.

      • For a simple charge-and-sync application, USB is fine, but there are no standard formats that include that PLUS video, audio, serial, etc.

        For video & audio, there is MHL. Most high-end Android phones these days seem to support it via their micro-USB slot.

      • My Samsung phone uses a micro-usb connector. Its only 6 months old, but I'm pretty sure other much older samsung phones use them too.

    • I agree. If you want HDMI out, use an AppleTV.

    • Please educate yourself why Apple uses a 30 pin connector [cultofmac.com]. The gist is when Apple came up with the connector almost a decade ago, they needed enough pins for future uses. The second reason is that using USB requires some sort of computing and drivers. If you are a manufacturer of car radios, do you want the signals to go through a computer or direct (left analog channel, right analog). Apple appears to be dropping 30 pins because they are dropping FireWire and older connections like S-Video which won't b
      • by BronsCon (927697)
        Wait, you mean the cable that connects my iPod to my car stereo, the same one that connects it to the charger and my computer, the one with a 30pin on one side and USB on the other, provides analog audio over the USB pins? Explain how a normal USB connector can't do this, since that's what the one of the connectors on the cable, as well as the connector on my stereo just so happen to be. In fact, my Motorola Atrix puts out analog audio when plugged into the car dock (the cable for it functions without the d
    • Why? Everyone repeats this mantra like robots. There's plenty of cheap third party cables for the existing connector, there will be for the new one. Anyone sitting around fretting over this has way too much free time.

      Unless you sat in on the design reviews and tradeoff meetings, you have no idea what led to the decision. Off the shelf versus custom is a very common tradespace in engineering, and off the shelf is not the automatic slam dunk people outside hardware engineering think it is.

  • Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by crazyjj (2598719) * on Thursday August 16, 2012 @03:15PM (#41015033)

    You know you're big when a new connector for one of your devices is front page news on every website.

  • by PrescriptionWarning (932687) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @03:15PM (#41015041)
    Its really just bad that they insist on not moving to micro USB like basically all other phones manufacturers have. Requiring people to buy new sets of chargers, cables, accessories, docks for a new product just shouldn't be necessary with what is already available.
    • by Krojack (575051)

      I'm guessing that's the point of them redoing it on the iPhone 5. They figured it's time people go out and buy new cables and chargers and stop using the ones they got with the original iPhone.

    • by joelsanda (619660) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @03:19PM (#41015099) Homepage

      Requiring people to buy new sets of chargers, cables, accessories, docks for a new product just shouldn't be necessary with what is already available.

      The don't require anyone to buy anything else. The box comes with a USB charging cable and why do you need a dock? It can sync wirelessly now.It would be nice if they included the travelling charger in the box, but anyone who reads the description will know that's not included.

      If people rush out and spend half again as much on accessories that's their choice. A +10 Shirt of Protection from Marketing is the only thing that will save them.

      • Speaking for myself, I've never wanted to carry around anything but the device itself. Being able to have a cheap, almost disposable, charger at work that works with all my devices is the way to go.

        No, you don't have to be able to charge the iPhone at work - although I believe one of the major reasons they're suing Samsung is that the Galaxy Nexus violates their "Ridiculously poor battery life" patent - but I'm inclined to think most do, and most don't want to carry around their only USB cable everywhere

        • by joelsanda (619660)

          Well, haven't all the iOS devices had that? It's a USB cable that plugs into a USB port. The only time that nails me is when I

          1. Forget to charge overnight
          2. Travel without a PC

          But I have only the iPhone, so perhaps the issue of multiple devices and cables doesn't haunt me.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        Well you need a charger at home and one at work. Possibly an auto charger as well if you travel a lot.

        Got a micro usb last weekend, store was selling ridiculous ones for $20 and seemed to be the only one. Until I found the discount bin with $1.95 cables that did the same thing but weren't in white. Now where can you get an iphone connector for only $1.95?

        • by c++0xFF (1758032)

          Go to your nearest hotel. Most have a bin with every charger imaginable, and will often just give them away.

          Apparently, people leave their phone chargers in their rooms quite a lot.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        Don't you think not including the charger in the box is ridiculous for such an expensive product? Talk about gouging. They only include the USB adapter because the EU basically forced them to.

    • Its really just bad that they insist on not moving to micro USB like basically all other phones manufacturers have. Requiring people to buy new sets of chargers, cables, accessories, docks for a new product just shouldn't be necessary with what is already available.

      Agreed in principle, but I'd prefer mini USB - I was visiting my extended family recently and we got to talking about broken cables and we've seen about 15 out of the 30 micro USB connectors we've collectively owned, usually supplied along with Kindles or phones, fail within the first year of normal use. None of us had ever seen a mini USB connecter fail in a larger sample size. Micro was supposedly designed for more plug/unplug cycles, but it seems like it's solidly failed to hit its goals.

    • by Karlt1 (231423)

      How do you get audio line in and line out from USB? How do you get video signals?

      • Yea, too bad USB can't transfer data...

        Perhaps it could have a Universal Bus that can send data perhaps Serially.

        • Yea, too bad USB can't transfer data...

          Perhaps it could have a Universal Bus that can send data perhaps Serially.

          Brilliant!

          Quickly now, let's write up an RFC and patent that shit before anyone beats us to it!

        • by Karlt1 (231423)

          So you want a $10 boom box from Walmart that now can connect to an analog pin to add a USB controller and the necessary software to get data and translate it?

      • by fa2k (881632)

        I have a crappy pink Alcatel that came with a headset with a mini-USB connector. It's a really simple thing, and I don't think it has a USB controller, so there is a way to send analog audio over a USB connector.

        • by Karlt1 (231423)

          You don't "send audio" over USB. You have a USB host controller and software to decode the data. But you can "send audio" over a line out pin and not require any software by the host.

          • by fa2k (881632)

            So what's your point? It's possible to use the four pins of USB as line out and microphone in. I'm not saying it's a good idea (just use a damn mini-jack), but it can be done. http://www.fa2k.net/misc/IMG_20120816_222223.jpg [fa2k.net]

            • by BronsCon (927697)
              Yup, my Motorola Atrix and HTC One X both do this. The One X also uses the same port for MHL, to provide HDMI-compliant audio and video, while the Atrix opted for a micro-HDMI port for that purpose.
    • by houghi (78078)

      I thought there was a European law that required a standard for the charging of phones. I am sure that Apple will tell in court how their phone is something else completely and nothing like that Sony thing. They will say that it does not even look like it and the Sony is a phone and their device is as

      • by Desler (1608317)

        It's a standard pushed by the EU not a law. Also, Apple sells a mini-USB adapter to comply with the standard.

    • USB does not include analogue video and audio outputs.

      • by idontgno (624372)

        I have never heard "analogue video and audio" cited as an advantage.

        Out here in the 21st Century, digital A/V is preferred. And works JUST FINE over USB 2.0 and later.

        No, let's all be candid and stop deluding ourselves. Apple isn't inventing whizzy new proprietary connectors because they believe micro USB doesn't support all important use cases. They're inventing whizzy new proprietary connectors because USB wasn't invented, copyrighted, and patented at One Infinite Loop.

    • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @04:35PM (#41016289)

      There are a number of valid reasons for not using USB. I'll address some of them and make a few guesses towards Apple's perspective, but I'm not interested in arguing whether or not this is the right decision.

      By using their own port, they can ensure that every device/cable that will ever be plugged into it (by a sane person) will work as expected. In contrast, if they were to use a general purpose port, such as micro USB, while it would be able to connect to more devices and cables, you'd also introduce confusion as a result, as well as introducing compromise by using a general purpose solution for something that may be better served by a specific solution. Regarding the latter idea, someone far smarter than I discussed it at length just yesterday [tumblr.com], going into detail for why this is such a good design for the application in which it will be used. He talks about why it's better in terms of simplicity, integrity, and a number of other factors than the current dock connector, but many of those would apply to USB as well.

      For a few other examples that weren't mentioned in that article of why having a proprietary port may be a good idea, unlike the current dock connector, which has dedicated pins for video and audio and standard ways of supplying them, implementations of video and audio over USB are not so standardized across the industry. Some devices may support certain files or certain codecs, while others support nothing at all. Some devices that can play video may not be able to accept any video at all from mobile devices hooked up to it. There are no guarantees. When a user plugs their device into an accessory that's supposed to support video and/or audio, will it, in fact, support it for their model? The answer is "maybe". That sort of confusion and poor handling of user expectations undermines confidence in the brand among the general public, which is something that Apple would clearly want to avoid.

      And if you go by the standards, USB doesn't carry anywhere close to enough power for modern devices to charge quickly for most people, so they'd already have to stray away from the standard as it is (which is exactly what they (and many other manufacturers, for that matter) have done for years with USB ports on their computers).

      As I said, those are some of the benefits to having a proprietary design. Does it mean that it's worth not using USB? For Apple, quite possibly so, especially since they can still support it via an adapter, as they already do in Europe, thus eliminating complaints that people have to buy new chargers and the like. And I imagine that Apple does not see interoperability with other accessories designed for devices besides theirs as being important (or perhaps even of value), which may be justifiable, given the number of hardware accessories available specifically for devices with their current dock connector and the consistency with which they operate.

  • Why do people care that the connector is changing. Personally I don't anything that doesn't use a standard good old available and open USB connector. All changing the connector does is make it harder to interface to devices and objects. Basically with Apple changing the connector they're saying "We don't want our users to be able to easily and readily use our products for interfacing, lets make them spend extra money because we need to be different", this is yet another thing Apples is doing to piss me
  • 'till then it's just a picture of someone's parts. Could be anyone's parts. Could be intentional misinformation. Could be a rejected Apple design. Could be Samsung, even!

    At least TFA got lots of clicks and eyeballs. Well done, advertisers.

  • by bhunachchicken (834243) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @03:47PM (#41015529) Homepage

    I'm going with the following -

    1. No adapter in the box (after all, Apple didn't tell you to buy that accessory)*
    2. Adapters will cost $30 each ($10 to make, plus Apple's mark-up, plus tax)**

    * - after 9 months of moaning from people who say Apple have screwed them over, Apple will provide all iPhone 5 purchasers with a $5 off voucher, when ordering the adapter direct from their own website.
    ** - a commenter on the Daily Mail website is claiming that the adapters will only cost $5 each. No chance, sorry. How will Apple make any money off those???

  • why does it need a dock connector at all ? I'd prefer a totally waterproof / dust-proof phone and it seems far more "Apple".
    • That would probably have been on the road map if the aliens hadn't killed Jobs. His perfect device would have no interface points whatsoever - just a perfectly smooth, hermetically sealed case. I'd go so far as to say that the front and back would be indistinguishable, save for a slightly luminescent Apple logo on the back. Headphones and portable chargers would be magnetically keyed. Data transfer would be entirely wireless.

      It would be exactly like the gadgets advanced beings carried around (and inexplica

  • Does slashdot have a category for unconfirmed photos of a frakking plug? Because that would go great with the "op-eds about what I think the bezel width might be" and the "patent cases even the judge is bored with" section.

  • by tgibbs (83782) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @04:11PM (#41015943)

    You might as well read the time from a stopped clock.

  • The vendors are going to love this. Apple is going the way of MS, only hardware wise. Giving every vendor catering to their devices with peripherals an excuse to sell the same stuff all over again. Smart business move, and not a moment to early.

  • It would be great to get a connector that can be plugged in either orientation (symmetric) and acts like Apple Macbook power cables (trip-safe magnetized). Micro-USB doesn't have either feature, so it's actually not a great choice.

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