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Apple Says "No" To Releasing New Dock Connector Specs 393

Posted by samzenpus
from the mine-all-mine dept.
sl4shd0rk writes "According to sources, Apple hasn't offered any specs to developers for the new '9-pin Connector' to be used on the next version of the iPhone. Apple has also said it may use 'licensing agreements and threats of lawsuits' to prevent third-party adapters from hitting the market through at least 2012. There have been suggestions that this tactic is to allow Apple time to leverage competition and reap in revenues of $100 million for every 10 million Dock Connector Adapters it sells for $10. It remains unclear whether Apple will allow third-party developers to release competing alternatives after 2012."
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Apple Says "No" To Releasing New Dock Connector Specs

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 06, 2012 @03:04AM (#41244457)

    Apple hasn't said a damn thing. Just speculation.

    • by gutnor (872759) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @03:52AM (#41244735)
      The new connector itself is pure rumor. So they don't publish the specs on a rumored connector of a product they haven't even announced or given any clear indication it will exist at all ? Some days it really feel like all Apple Haters and Fanboys are like teenagers gossiping about their favorite star.
      • by debilo (612116) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @04:04AM (#41244791)

        The new connector itself is pure rumor.

        Assuming this video [gizmodo.com] is authentic, a side by side comparison does hint at a new, much smaller connector.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Pieroxy (222434)

          Given the fact that nobody has a fucking clue of what's in the video, whether it's authentic or not, who shot it, I'd say it hints at somebody wanting you to believe something, not much more.

          It doesn't say anything about a future Apple product or connector though.

          My bet, if it is worth anything, is that if they change the connector, they will include in every iPhone box a converter allowing old accessories to work with the new iPhone. They'll drop the free converter next year on the iPhone 6 or whatever the

          • by debilo (612116)

            Given the fact that nobody has a fucking clue of what's in the video

            What do you mean? The video clearly shows two devices side by side, the current iPhone and, allegedly, the new one.

            It doesn't say anything about a future Apple product or connector though.

            Have you actually watched the clip? It shows the new device from all angles, including the bottom of the device, revealing a much smaller, thinner connector. This is in line with rumors previously leaked. I don't know if it's the real deal, but device info gets leaked pre-release all the time, so I don't feel the need to get all tinfoily.

            • by Pieroxy (222434)

              How does anyone know it's the new iPhone? I mean, they have a history of false leaks that predates the iPhone releases... Last year we kept seeing an iPhone shaped like a MacBookAir (thinner on the front) yet it wasn't at all what the iPhone 4S looks like now.

              What you see is an iPhone 42 and something the author would like you to believe is the next iPhone. Whether it is or not it at best debatable.

              Stop being so gullible. The video being on YouTube doesn't make it right or true.

            • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Thursday September 06, 2012 @05:30AM (#41245211) Journal

              The problem is, and this coming from someone who is NOT a fan of Apple and the walled gardens, is that its well known there are a bazillion "iClones" made in China that frankly you'd be hard pressed to tell if you sat them side by side, or even booted up.

              So until we see an actual Apple product from an Apple store in the Apple box with a new connector? We all really need to treat these rumors as just that, rumors.

        • Oh, please. That's such an obvious fake. Did you really not notice how the real phone's black background is not anywhere near as dark as the fake phone's black background once it is placed on the table and the overlaid video starts up? Not to mention the overlaid video's boundaries actually being past the fake phone's screen boundaries.

    • by Swampash (1131503)

      Slashdot is so desperate to pad out the front page with SEO-whoring stories containing the word "Apple" I'm amazed it's not posting press releases from the fruit industry.

  • by mister.woody (2712229) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @03:07AM (#41244475)
    It's a shame that they do not have a universal connector. Something that would work on any damn phone, like a simple usb. But oh well... it's apple!
    • by profplump (309017)

      Let me know when your USB port has serial, audio, and video connectors.

      You can argue that it's better to have a whole slew of other connectors -- and in many (but not all) cases I'd agree -- but you can't argue that USB is replacement for the dock port (new or old).

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Micro-USB with MHL does serial, audio and video, way better than analog pins, and does much much more.
        Having analog signals run through dubious-quality cheap connectors is so last century.

      • Let me know when your USB port has serial, audio, and video connectors.

        You can argue that it's better to have a whole slew of other connectors -- and in many (but not all) cases I'd agree -- but you can't argue that USB is replacement for the dock port (new or old).

        Ok, I can let you know right away. Many phones have that today, including phones as old as Samsung Galaxy S2. MHL is a standard for exactly this, supported by multiple manufacturers (except Apple). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_High-Definition_Link [wikipedia.org]

    • by Karlt1 (231423)

      So how do I control an electronic device over USB via purely analog signals -- i.e. without requiring the connecting component to have a USB host controller and software? I don't think the manufacturer of $20 boombox with a dock connector is going to want to spend the money on the necessary hardware/software.

      The last time I asked this question, people posted a lot of solutions involving proprietary docks and connectors that only work with one brand of phone.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 06, 2012 @03:07AM (#41244477)

    It may be that they are walking straight into EU regulations with that kind of policy. Vertical monopolies in the supply chain is one of those few things the EU gets extremely aggro about, to the benefit of the market and consumers.

    • by Mr. Wok (2723821) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @03:11AM (#41244499)
      Aggro?! Do you mean EU is somekind of monster of which somebody is always tanking and getting the aggro while the others shoot?
      • Aggro short for Aggravation you can look it up in the dictionary
      • That pretty much describes it.

        Never would have described MS as tank before, but you're basically right..

      • by Jesus_666 (702802)
        Apple: Okay, I've got an offensive patent war chest, standard DD build with some bling thrown in. Who's the tank? Who's on healing duty?
        Samsung: I've... got a DD build, too.
        HTC: Same here.
        Sony: I always play DD.
        Nokia: Microsoft taught me Cannibalize so I put all my skill points into that.
        HTC: How's that working out?
        Nokia: Pretty good, although I can only use it on myself.
        Apple: We're all DDs? We can't all be DDs!
        Nokia: Except me!
        Apple: Okay, we're all DDs except for Nokia who's special. Yeah, that'
    • What monopoly? Just buy an Android phone, or for that matter a Windows phone. I have and not only is it better than iPhone but it is a much more effective way to make a company behave than any EU regulations.

    • by Kergan (780543) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @03:28AM (#41244603)

      It may be that they are walking straight into EU regulations with that kind of policy..

      Not may. Will. Germany in particular (where most patent litigation is taken in the EU) has a long history of allowing cheap clones of periphericals and consumables. Be it nails, screws, coffee recharges, cables, or otherwise. Ianal, but I'd wager Apple doesn't stand a chance in court if they seek to sue cloned cables out of the market -- especially at that price point.

      The most surprising part to me, though, is (assuming the rumors are valid on the new port) that they didn't go for a micro-USB port. The EU directive aimed at getting rid of electronic waste due to redundant and incompatible chargers will shortly make (already makes?) it or an adapter mandatory, so why bother coming up with yet another type of dock connector?

      • by toruonu (1696670)

        It's fun to see all these discussions and allegations for a phone that's not even launched yet and therefore you have no clue what connector it actually uses. True, it's likely it'll be a proprietary one again, but still, shouldn't we wait until Sept 12th at least before starting the accusations...

        • by Kergan (780543)

          Yeah. And even more fun are case makers who are mass-producing cases based on rumors and mockups, and the shameless iPhone5-like Android clone that got unveiled recently. I'll be laughing out loud if Apple unveils a tear-drop design on the 12th, or if the clone joint sues apple over "their" design [gizmodo.com].

        • by famebait (450028)

          Apple haven't exactly been earning their benefit of the doubt lately...

      • by jonwil (467024) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @03:38AM (#41244661)

        One big reason Apple doesn't use USB is that the dock connector does more than just USB.

        • by famebait (450028) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @04:03AM (#41244781)

          "One big reason Apple doesn't use USB is that the dock connector does more than just USB."

          Does it, now? With airplay and whatnot, the need to transmit analog audio and video is rapidly disappearing, which is probably why the new plug has nine pins in stead of the previous billion. It's been months since I used my cable for anything besides charging, and I really can't see what I'd want from it that USB + wifi + bluetooth can't already offer.

          Let's face it: it's a money-making ploy and nothing more.
          It is of course entirely within their rights to use proprietary designs that way, but harassing people trying to adapt to it is not (or shouldn't be), and it is entirely within my rights to dispise and chastise them for it in any case.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 06, 2012 @04:07AM (#41244799)

          But nothing that you can't do with USB. Android phones have the ability to do audio and video through micro USB after all.

          The only difference is they provide an analog pins for each audio channel, for svideo etc. Micro USB means you just send it as data and convert it in the adapter.

          • by profplump (309017)

            So you still need a proprietary, external (and in this case, expensive) adapter to use their ports. How is that different than Apple?

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          I don't have the idea that this phone is so small that there is no space left to add a micro USB as well, if they so insist on adding their own connector (for which there may be valid reasons, of course).

  • by Immostlyharmless (1311531) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @03:08AM (#41244481)
    4 days after release the Chinese will be selling the things on ebay for 4 bucks a pop anyhow, as long as you can wait 2 weeks for it to ship from Honk Kong.
  • a price to pay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by azalin (67640) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @03:09AM (#41244489)
    Apple has never been a fan of cheap. Their products carry the undercurrent message "I can afford this", much like sports cars, suvs, rolexes and the like. They don't want everybody to provide cheap accessories to their products, because it diminishes the brand value.
    • With any luck they will outprice themselves [wikipedia.org] off from the markets soon enough.
    • by mjwx (966435)

      Apple has never been a fan of cheap. Their products carry the undercurrent message "I can afford this", much like sports cars, suvs, rolexes and the like. They don't want everybody to provide cheap accessories to their products, because it diminishes the brand value.

      Youre joking right?

      SUVs are as cheap as expensive hatchbacks (considering the cheap ones are hatchback engines in overweight bodies)

      Same with sports cars. You can get one for the price of a hot hatch.

      Apple devices don't convey an air of money because people get them on cheap contracts. A lot of lower income earners have iphones. They are less like exclusive brands like Ferrari and more like common but overpriced brands suck as Louis Vutton which are the same made in china crap as other bags but have a high

      • Youre joking right?

        SUVs are as cheap as expensive hatchbacks (considering the cheap ones are hatchback engines in overweight bodies)

        Same with sports cars. You can get one for the price of a hot hatch.

        Apple devices don't convey an air of money because people get them on cheap contracts. A lot of lower income earners have iphones. They are less like exclusive brands like Ferrari and more like common but overpriced brands suck as Louis Vutton which are the same made in china crap as other bags but have a higher price tag due to the logo.

        When was the last time you took a look at the price difference between, say a basic VW golf and the GTI version? Hot hatchbacks cost so much more they are in fact a status symbol, as in: "I can afford to pay twice as much as you for the same car to get a some exta horsepowers". In my neck of the woods a GTI costs almost twice as much as a regular Golf.

      • Youre joking right?

        Why? Exclusivity versus volumen is not exactly a new idea and it's served a lot of companies very well in the past.

        Apple devices don't convey an air of money because people get them on cheap contracts.

        Er, I don't think you understand the meaning of cheap.

        Just looking around, you can get a sim only contract with data for GBP 10.00 per month on a 12 month basis. I think there are cheaper ones on some of the smaller operators. iPhone contracts are around 30 per month on a 24 month basis.

        So

    • by toruonu (1696670)

      *sigh* people don't buy sports cars because they want to show they can afford it though sure there are some people who do it because of that too, but that doesn't mean we all buy it because of that. I have a sports car and I bought it because I want to enjoy my commute no matter when and where I go. I can't stand the slow progression from point A to B without any excitement in getting there. Even if the excitement is only minimal due to jams or what not. And also I love my sports/rally car during the winter

      • by fnj (64210)

        I think you and I buying cars because we like the way they look and feel to (and work for) US, not because of the way they look and speak to OTHERS, are actually in the minority.

        The iPhone (and other Apple stuff) appeal is also a very strong snob/fad/peer-pressure thing. Not to us, but to most.

      • And also I love my sports/rally car during the winter when there is never a dull ride with all the snow etc.

        That's the *wrong* kind of excitement. It's also perfectly possible to have such excitement in a sedan car even with snow chains on. That is an experience that I would not care to repeat.

  • Manufacture for $.10; sell for $10; sue anyone who copies. Mm...

    • by itsdapead (734413)

      Manufacture for $.10; sell for $10; sue anyone who copies. Mm...

      Pro tip: if you think that operating profit = retail price - manufacturing cost then don't try starting a business anytime soon. Packaging, promotion, logistics, processing payments all cost money...

      I'm sure that, at $10 a pop, Apple are making several bucks, but it ain't $9.90.

      One non-evil motive for Apple's (alleged) action is to give the new connector a chance to get established before the flood of 3rd party adapters. There are bound to be issues with the new dock and older equipment anyway, having a

      • Packaging, promotion, logistics, processing payments all cost money...

        Your forgot the sales staff if it is sold in an Apple store, and otherwise the staff which sells it to other retailers. In most countries, staff is the biggest part which eats your revenue. ... And no, I'm not talking about assembling here, but about the people which hand you your change.

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @03:18AM (#41244539)

    How can they prevent someone from reverse engineering the pinout based on published specs, examining whatever 9 pin adapter comes with the new phone, and trial and error? I don't it would be legal to take apart an Apple adapter and copy it, but if they can figure out how to make an adapter by other means using a cleanroom methodology without ever looking at the official adapter, and come up with their own connector design that fits the phone connector, can Apple stop them?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They can slap you with a 1bn lawsuit saying you copied their patent covering "copper cables with white plastic wrapping carrying data from a device built in 2012 or later with rounded corners and a company logo". Any claims that other cables carrying data is prior art will be rejected by the jury since those cables didn't in fact carry data from a 2012 or later device with a company logo on it, and they definitely were not white.

      Apple is the evil empire to a higher degree than Standard Oil, IBM or Microsoft

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      they made it a non-industry standard connector for exactly preventing anyone making a connector that fits and that wouldn't infringe. funny, eh? (the ipod style connector is pretty much a standard connector type.. that's how samsung can use it. it never took hold on mp3 players though apart from apple who didn't use the standard pinout of course).

  • by MassacrE (763) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @03:35AM (#41244645)

    Accessory manufacturers (particularly case manufacturers) burnt all their bridges with Apple long ago. Since around when the iphone 3gs came out, nobody has gotten any advance notice of new hardware because of all the leaks.

    Even now, many of the apple rumors come from case manufacturers who are attempting to bribe employees at the manufacturer for information.

    Right now Apple has only even hinted that there may be an iphone 5, and if they are going to deprecate a decade of accessories with a new connector they want to do it on their own terms. There is no way Applw have confirmed or denied the dock connector except perhaps in controlled leaks to the media. Nobody making alarm clock docks is gonna know a damn thing until the rest of us do on the 12th.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Accessory manufacturers (particularly case manufacturers) burnt all their bridges with Apple long ago.

      Interesting. How so?

      Also I'm not aware of Apple (or any other manufacturer using proprietary connectors) to release them to third-party manufacturers well in advance of releasing their product. It's kinda against the whole idea of using a proprietary connector, instead of some standard (such as micro USB).

  • the article says - " Some developers fear that Apple will corner the market for both the adapters and cables, much as it did with MagSafe connectors for MacBook laptops, using licensing agreements and threats of lawsuits to prevent less expensive third-party solutions from coming to market.".

    The summary goes on to state that apple said that

    • by NoMaster (142776)

      Well, yeah, what did you expect? It's an Apple article on /., so the title is almost guaranteed to be a lie.

      Or are you pining for the imaginary mythical non-trolling /. of days past? If so, I've got 8 words for you:

      "No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame."

  • Just sayin'

    Buy a (relatively cheap) Lumia and you can use the industry standard for wireless charging and also NFC + open data transfer standards (bluetooth to the speaker systems for instance). Buy a (relatively expensive) iPhone and you'll be stuck with even more expensive accessories, with god knows what means of communicating with them.

  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @04:15AM (#41244833)
    Excuse me while I say WTF???? People are fighting mad over an iPhone 5 that no one has admitted exists so far??? I might as well say the iPhone 6 will support Firewire 1600. Prove me wrong! Time people get a life!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Sponge Bath (413667)

      I might as well say the iPhone 6 will support Firewire 1600.

      Apple has not released detailed technical specifications for the iPhone 6 battery, so it's safe to assume it will be powered by the blood of innocent children. How can Apple get away with powering phones with the blood of innocent children? Those damned hipsters who only buy Apple as a fashion statement have blood on their hands!

  • I've been trying to find some good schematics for an ipod dock to analog audio in connector for those compact hifi boxes, has anyone been successful in buying or building one him- or herself? All I'd need is to feed analog audio into the system, no fancy play controls and the like. Thanks!

  • The video isn't terrible sharp, but googling for better pictures, the new connector looks very much like micro-USB. Might it be that Apple is doing the right thing here?

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