New iPhone Connector Port Revealed, Thus Wiping Out Several Generations Of Accessories In One Fell Swoop

from the planned-obsolesence dept

Clarification: As some people have pointed out, Apple themselves have not revealed this—the information comes from TechCrunch's conversations with accessory manufacturers. The headline was misleading and has been updated.

As iPhones and iPads have gotten more powerful, they've been adopted for a lot of professional applications, and this has spawned a huge industry of compatible devices—not just accessories, but significant expansions that can run into the same price range as the iPhone/iPad itself. In music, for example, there are DJ controllers, audio interfaces, studio microphones, stompbox pedals and more—all utilizing the ubiquitous iPod/iPhone/iPad connector port that has remained the same for years. But now TechCrunch has confirmed that the new iPhone will feature a new mini connector with a yet-to-be-announced standard—which means the rest of the Apple line is sure to follow, and all those products are officially on the road to obsolescence.

Apple’s 30-pin ports have been the standard since Apple released the third generation iPod. The connectors offered structural stability when connecting to most accessories but it’s clear – especially with the introduction of the MagSafe 2 port – Apple is more concerned with space savings inside each device.

Three independent manufacturers all agreed that the 19-pin dock port is in the works and many accessory manufacturers are facing an uneasy few months as they wait for official news of the standard to be announced.

This is going to frustrate a lot of users—but despite TechCrunch's suggestion, most manufacturers probably aren't "uneasy". For them, it's a great cash-grab, and an apparently pointless one. Sometimes things have to become obsolete—but this doesn't seem like one of those cases. There were no problems with the old connectors, and they weren't causing any kind of technological bottleneck, so apart from the space-saving aspect, there doesn't seem to be much to gain—certainly not for the user, and certainly not compared to what's lost by abandoning such a well-established standard. This has led some to suggest that the accessory manufacturers were in fact the driving force behind the change:

Have you guys ever heard of 'planned obsolescence?' It's a practice which encourages planning and designing a product so it's only useful for a limited time, before becoming obsolete. It's common practice, and used by many companies to create demand for the 'newer, better' model of the product. Yet this move is possibly prompted by the major accessory makers facing dwindling sales, as customers see no need to buy new accessories for a smartphone that had a universal dock system for 6 generations. What most tech blogs failed to address was the following question: Did the top accessory makers pad Apple's pockets, or hardball negotiate for an incentive to drop the standard cable as a means of forcing consumers to buy new accessories? We're inclined to think so.

Considering that three of the top accessory makers have been the first to confirm that they're working on 19 pin accessories already for the launch of the iPhone 5, the motive is simple : Greed. And why not? It's a fail safe business plan, designed to shake out the smaller accessory makers with tons of unsold '30 pin' stock and a good amount of people will probably conform to this odd decision without question.

Of course, Apple gets plenty of benefits too. The new connector will be yet another proprietary standard, following their typical walled-garden approach, which means most accessory developers will build Apple-first, everything-else-second-if-at-all, thus pushing more people towards Apple products. It's not surprising, but it's not a consumer-friendly decision either. Additionally, manufacturers/owners of some of the aforementioned professional accessories to do with music and photography get the worst deal—for them, iPhone/iPad compatibility is a great feature, but not central to their businesses/buying habits. Breaking the compatibility is a source of nothing but frustration, and will probably discourage a lot of such users from upgrading at all—while the manufacturers are slowly forced to leave them behind.



Reader Comments (rss)

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 3:09am

    Leigh, something I saw on this story earlier surfing around was the rebirth of the idea of the "Apple Approved" chip in the accessories, blocking non-chipped items from working.

    Oh and the claim that it means it will be more water resistant, so no more false water damaged stickers for consumers.

     

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    hfbs (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 3:17am

    Good job that this is exactly what every iDiot was crying out for, eh guys? Guys? It was what you wanted, right? Oh.. it wasn't..? Well tough!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 3:49am

      Re:

      They secretly love it.
      Something else for them to feel elitist about.
      Not that it's only Apple customers that are like that, Win Vista was a fail of "obsolescence of xp software".
      Difference is, Apple customers are happy to downgrade because they are told it's an upgrade.
      1 button mouse V multiple button mouse.
      Touch screen V buttons.
      Stylus V finger.
      Etc.... downgrades in control for the user. "UPGRADE" shouts Apple.

       

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        Celtic Frosh, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 12:15pm

        Upgrades

        "Difference is, Apple customers are happy to downgrade because they are told it's an upgrade.
        1 button mouse V multiple button mouse.
        Touch screen V buttons.
        Stylus V finger."

        I think you meant "Finger V Stylus"

        Yeah, I know what you mean. I absolutely love my 18 button mouse; I get sooooooo much done that way... And the touch screen instead of physical buttons which can't adapt to new software, and break? What was Apple thinking?

        And don't get me started on the senselessness of using a pointing device which is with me 24/7 instead of one that makes my device bigger and can be lost. I much prefer that kind of "upgrade".

        Wanker.

        Apple should bring back the floppy disc too. If they put it in the iPhone, so much the better!

         

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    Jason Beans, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 3:19am

    I am not sure if this will be connected to Apple's enforced compliance to microUSB within the EU.

     

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    Paul Renault (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 3:24am

    The only thing that can stop this kind of crap...

    ...is a boycott. Just like how Windows power users boycotted Vista.

    However, I don't hold out much hope from Apple users. Their understanding of 'think different' is doing what Cupertino tells them to do.

    Maybe that "Apple Approved" chip is really implanted in the fanbois, not the hardware.

     

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      droslovinia (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 6:06am

      Re: The only thing that can stop this kind of crap...

      Well I for one am shocked - SHOCKED!!! - that they would dare to change anything when releasing a new product. How dare Apple change things in any of their products? Don't they know that they are the only technology company in the world that does this? Just look at all those Windows and Android devices that are exactly the same in every way as the original models. How DARE Apple break with tradition and actually change something in an as yet unreleased product? And then to not offer any adapters or ways to work with the new product too (which they've never done before)? It's all just so shocking! How can they claim to be "innovative" when they insist on changing things every so often? And to think that we are all forced to buy things from them, too. Something MUST be done.

      It's great that we have Internet "reporters" spreading FUD to prevent this kind of thing from happening. Otherwise my IBM PCJr might start to become obsolete.

       

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        Almost Anonymous (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:16am

        Re: Re: The only thing that can stop this kind of crap...

        Good job completely sidestepping the point! 6/10 troll points.

        Nobody, yet NOBODY, is knocking Apple for changing "things in any of their products", I'm sure the new iPhone will come with many changes. However many people will be understandably upset when basically all of their current iJunk will no longer work with this newest wunderphone. Most see it as a cynical cash grab by accessory companies in forcing everyone to buy new iJunk. A select few, such as yourself, will attempt to make the change sound justified without actually providing any sort of justification other than "neener neener neener". Sure, Apple can do what they want with their products, but they will also have to accept a lot of people are going to be pissed.

         

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          PaulT (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:36am

          Re: Re: Re: The only thing that can stop this kind of crap...

          "However many people will be understandably upset when basically all of their current iJunk will no longer work with this newest wunderphone."

          Which is a blind assumption based on a product that nobody has to upgrade to and has not had its features officially announced by the retailer.

          If people are going hate Apple for upgrading their equipment, can we at least wait until they've announced that change?

          "A select few, such as yourself, will attempt to make the change sound justified without actually providing any sort of justification other than "neener neener neener"."

          The justification suggested so far is the small form factor of the connector inside the case. There's other justifications that can be assumed from the nature of the connector, but its usage has not been announced yet, there are only assumptions until it is.

          Of course, this is stated elsewhere, I'm sorry that your reading comprehension is so poor that you can't filter this as anything other than a childish insult (something that's only being done by the anti-Apple obsessives so far).

           

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            Almost Anonymous (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The only thing that can stop this kind of crap...

            If people are going hate Apple for upgrading their equipment, can we at least wait until they've announced that change?

            You keep saying this. "It's not official." "We don't know for sure."

            Here's an idea: why don't we, for the sake of argument, assume that Apple is going to change the connector, making it completely incompatible with all previous accessories. Now, I say, based on the previous assumption that is going to change the connector, "This sounds like a cash grab. I'm a pretty technical guy and I do realize there could be some actual technological benefits to changing the connector, it seems much more likely than not that this will be more of a windfall for a bunch of iJunk manufacturers."

            Your turn! Please remember, for the sake of this argument, the assumption is that Apple is going to change the connector, ok?

             

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              PaulT (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 10:32am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The only thing that can stop this kind of crap...

              "Your turn!"

              Erm, OK...

              "Please remember, for the sake of this argument, the assumption is that Apple is going to change the connector, ok?"

              That's one assumption. Unfortunately, your attack is based on a large number of other assumptions as well. Let's assume that the device as posted in the article is real. Well, we still don't know the specs of the port. You seem to be assuming that there's no other difference apart from the format of the connector, not even considering things like improved performance, direct compatibility with Thunderbolt and other devices, and so on.

              You also assume that there's not going to be an adapter supplied in the box, or supplied for free/at cost. You assume that no other changes are going to be announced at the same time, including real tangible immediate benefits for the new connection. You assume that the new connection format wasn't necessary to include any other improvements that come with the phone. You assume that the change isn't absolutely necessary for future development of the device (most such changes aren't made for now, they're made for changes over several years in the future). You assume that whatever changes are made are going to be invisible to the consumer. You also seem to make the strange assumption that people are somehow forced to upgrade

              Need I go on? Your reaction is an overreaction, based on worst-case scenarios for a device which you don't even know the tech specs of yet. That stikes me as being rather silly. Apple have faced wailing and gnashing of teeth before, from switching to Intel to opting not to include floppy drives in the iMac. Most of these have been non-issues or even smart forward looking moves in hindsight.

              Long term, this will be a similar non-issue IMHO, but I'll wait to see the device before I pass final judgement. Short term, you're not forced to upgrade if you find the new connector unacceptable.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 3:04pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The only thing that can stop this kind of crap...

                You're such a douchebag.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 10:16pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The only thing that can stop this kind of crap...

                  right. Let's say an individual has $1294.99, in 2010 dollars, drachma, pesos, or whatever, invested in iGadjets. With the release of i5 they are useless. What's not to get?

                   

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:03am

          Re: Re: Re: The only thing that can stop this kind of crap...

          The cable is 10 freakin years old. Every other phone manufacturer has been making their cables smaller and smaller, god forbid Apple does the same. "Oh, but it means I won't be able to connect the new iPhone 5 to my existing 8 year old hardware!" Then don't buy it until your current accessories die. Apple isn't making your old devices blow up and forcing you to buy the new iPhone. "Oh no, I'll lose hipster cred for not having the iPhone 5 before it's cool though!" It was too late when the first iPhone came out.

           

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    fogbugzd (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 3:25am

    As much as I dislike proprietary standards, I must say that there are some good reasons for the change. Smartphone designers are obsessed with packing more features into smaller spaces and the new adapter does that. It is also safer for the phone and more water resistant. The 30 pin socket so was prone to damage and stability issues.

    The bottom line to me is that if you choose to invest heavily in a proprietary system you can expect to have this type of issue. The only real surprise for me is that Apple stayed with the 30 pin connector as long as they did.

     

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      reboog711 (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 6:00am

      Re:

      Did you know that most non-Apple devices use micro-USB cables? these ports are significantly smaller than the 30 pin Apple Connector and as best I can tell, significantly smaller than the Apple 19 pin connector.

      And cables / power supplies are almost trivial to find. If Apple truly wanted something smaller, why didn't it go for that?

       

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        fogbugzd (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:18am

        Re: Re:

        I am an Android user myself, so I am definitely familiar with micro-USB. The external parts of the new connector are larger, but the internal parts are smaller, and Apple is most concerned about the internal size. Apple doesn't really care how large the external part of the adapter is as long as they can make it pretty.

        The micro-USB does have some problems, including a higher risk of water and mechanical damage. But I suspect the real appeal of the new adapter is that it is shiny and made by Apple. Some people will buy anything if it is shiny and made by apple. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BnLbv6QYcA

         

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          jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:11am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Perhaps if Apple didn't charge $30-$40 for their cables, people wouldn't so wary.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 11:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No, no, no. Go look at laptop charger cables. Every. Fucking. One. Is some stupid ass proprietary shit that costs at minimum $70. Don't only burn Apple because everyone does it.

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 6:31am

      Re:

      Smartphone designers are obsessed with packing more features into smaller spaces and the new adapter does that.

      What new hardware features require the additional space?

       

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        fogbugzd (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:11am

        Re: Re:

        >>What new hardware features require the additional space?

        For Apple, a smaller phone is itself a feature. Anything that lets them shave a fraction of a millimeter is something they just can't resist. The iPhone will certainly have some new features, but even if it doesn't the drive for a more compact device would be compelling to Apple.

         

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          Almost Anonymous (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:20am

          Re: Re: Re:

          ... but even if it doesn't the drive for a more compact device would be compelling to Apple.

          Even as the rest of... well, EVERYBODY, is looking for bigger screens and more real estate? Sorry man, that just doesn't jive.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 3:28am

    as usual, customers dont matter, but will have to pay the price. Apple wont worry that there will be several businesses now whose products will be incompatible. do they think that people will now flock to buy Apple accessories at 3x and 4x the price but same quality? doubt that will happen.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 3:31am

    When will Apple fanatics learn that the company does not care about it's customers. They only want your money.

     

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      Clint Fix (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 6:33am

      Re:

      This is one of the dumbest comments I've seen. If a private company wants to make money when there is a ton of competition in the space, they HAVE to satisfy their customers or they won't make money.

       

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        Steve R. (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:06am

        Re: Re:

        If customer satisfaction was a true company imperative, it would not make proprietary connectors. As a general observation many companies do NOT care about the individual consumer anymore. They tend to be somewhat responsive when consumers abandon them in mass.

         

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      gareth, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:47am

      Re:

      Yeah. That's odd for a major corporation.

       

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    Androgynous Cowherd, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 3:35am

    How long...

    How long do you think it will be before someone starts selling a 19-pin to 30-pin adapter?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 3:38am

      Re: How long...

      How long until they are sued for...uh...let me roll the wheel:

      * Rolls Wheel of Litigation *

      * The wheel stops on "Patent Infringement" *

      Right...How long until they are sued for patent infringement?

       

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        Androgynous Cowherd, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 4:39am

        Re: Re: How long...

        You can't be serious. I can't see a utility patent on "a 19-pin connector" being considered novel and non-obvious. Or on "a 30-pin connector". Or on "a 19-pin to 30-pin adapter". And if they try a copyright claim or anything similar, reverse engineering for interoperability is fair use.

         

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          Berenerd (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 5:02am

          Re: Re: Re: How long...

          And using a finger swipe to unlock a smart phone, or clicking on a link in a text message to open a webpage or to call someone, isn't something anyone would have thought of? yet apple is/has sued for both because Android uses it too? These are novel or non-obvious?

           

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            Androgynous Cowherd, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 5:20am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: How long...

            All of those are just begging to be overturned.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 5:39am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How long...

              Unless a company with serious clout would the one making the hypothetical adapter, they'd likely fold under legal threat rather than try to fight Apple.
              It doesn't matter that they'd have every legal right to make the adapter; Apple could just keep dragging them into court until they went bankrupt.

               

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                That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 5:49am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How long...

                And if the special chip in the cord rumor proves true, they would use DMCA and other things to cause more havoc if you dared to decode their magic chips.

                 

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                Androgynous Cowherd, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 6:08am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How long...

                Given the potential billion-dollar value of such an adapter, it's not hard to imagine a very big company investing in it even if it would mean a bit of patent-busting.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:28am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How long...

                  Its cheaper to license the port than to fight Apple in court over it. People will sell adapters and they will cost an extra ~30$ because that money goes back to apple.

                   

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:12am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How long...

              But to date they haven't been overturned or seem likely to be overturned in the near future.

               

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      Brent (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 6:37am

      Re: How long...

      agreed, despite what the others have said. This will be available shortly after the release of the new iPhone. You might have to buy it from China directly but you'll still be able to get one. Hopefully there is no chip block thing as i'll make my own adapter in that case.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:15am

      Re: How long...

      exactly...+1

       

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      jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:12am

      Re: How long...

      Apple will sell you one for $50.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 3:52am

    Seriously, people are surprised by this?

    Apple launches a new iPad and a new iPhone roughly every year. They can't maintain a high volume of sales if they don't somehow force people to switch over to the new shiny.

    This is people's fault really. They will all still flock to buy the new shiny anyway, giving more money to Apple and further encouraging this behaviour. Mindless idiots...

    Reminds me of this:

    http://xkcd.com/743/

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 3:57am

    Yawn... another excuse to launch attacks on Apple in the comments without adding anything to the discussion? Snore...

    Nobody's forced to upgrade, and there will almost certainly be adapters and dual-format connectors available in a short length of time. Who knows, Apple might even package a converter with the phone to mitigate complaints. It's too early to tell.

    So, instead of having a discussion of the pros and cons of this decision and what it might make possible going forward, we have another anti-fanboy wankfest over who can launch attacks on Apple first. Boring... Don't like Apple? Don't buy their products and stop whining.

     

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 4:07am

      Re:

      hey now... be nice...
      I brought up that it was also supposed to make the water damage sensors less likely to trip.

      The rest of my responses have been my typical level of snark I use for everything.

      I am curious if they will be using the chip in the cord thing or not and what that could mean in the longer term. If it is meant to keep the "low end" manufacturers from putting out devices Apple doesn't approve of, or if Apple will use it to control like the app approval process.

      I'm kinda entertained if they make the switch in more than just the next iPhone and across the whole iThingy line. Means more items on clearance that will work with my ancient iThingys.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 4:29am

      Re:

      What pros? This is universally bad for the consumer. No discussion necessary.

       

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        PaulT (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 5:02am

        Re: Re:

        "No discussion necessary."

        Which will be why you think there's no pros - you've already made up your mind and have it closed to new information. How typical.

         

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      Coyote, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 4:59am

      Re:

      There are no pro's. None. It's universally terrible all around. There are zero pro's, and a million cons.

       

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        PaulT (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 5:10am

        Re: Re:

        "There are no pro's. None."

        I can think of at least two off the top of my head with little effort (the smaller form factor will free some space internally - mentioned in the damn article! - while the pinouts are different there might be some compatibility with Thunderbolt devices). Real debate would expose more, and then would enable people to weigh them against the cons.

        What a shame that so many people are opposed to real debate and prefer just to write off everything with assumptions and attacks.

         

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          Mike (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 5:36am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Sorry, the consumer friendly connector change would have been to use a standard connector such as mini or micro USB. And those are much smaller than either the 30 pin or the new 19 pin connectors.

          I agree w/ all the commenters that this is a consumer unfriendly move.

           

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            PaulT (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 6:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Sorry, the consumer friendly connector change would have been to use a standard connector such as mini or micro USB."

            Would it? Considering that the connector appears to be physically similar to Thunderbolt connectors, they don't appear to be moving in the direction you think they are. Is the way Apple are planning this to be used even possible with those connectors? I don't know, and neither do you.

            "I agree w/ all the commenters that this is a consumer unfriendly move."

            Based on your own assumptions. FFS, you don't even know if Apple are going to be supplying an adapter with the phone to maintain backward compatibility yet, let alone what the actual benefits going forward are. Stop pulling attacks out of your ass, and at least wait for them to formally announce what they're going to be doing with the damn device before your impotent rage starts.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 6:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What a shame that so many people are opposed to real debate and prefer just to write off everything with assumptions and attacks.

          It's Techdirt, after all.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:23am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You know whats smaller, micro usb but then they couldnt make money of adapters and iphone only accessories.

           

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      droslovinia (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 6:15am

      Re:

      The really humorous part in all this, to me, is that it helps separate seriously thoughtful people from the mindless haters. If Apple releases "more of the same," they criticize and use it as an example of how someone else is better. If they make a change (even one that is only a rumor), they've launched us all on a path to a fiery apocalypse. When you love/hate something to the point of obsession, you've lost all capacity for rational thought. The real icing on the cake is to see these same people calling others "sheep" or "mindless idiots." It reminds me of the classic picture of the guy with the sign that says "get a brain, morans!"

      As you said, if you don't like their products, don't buy them and stop whining!

       

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 4:01am

    Really?

    "Did the top accessory makers pad Apple's pockets, or hardball negotiate for an incentive to drop the standard cable as a means of forcing consumers to buy new accessories? We're inclined to think so."

    Didn't the DOJ already show us that Apple is not opposed to collusion in the market?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 4:09am

    From my perspective, the old iPhone accessories I did not buy will be perfectly compatible with the new iPhone I will not buy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 4:28am

    Steve Jobs would be proud.

     

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    Daniel, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 4:29am

    Senseless

    They are required to provide a micro-USB adapter cable and a micro-USB charger for phones sold in the EU, so why not just use micro-USB, like everybody else?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:40am

      Re: Senseless

      But there are so many micro-USB accessories already on the market that there is NO PROFIT to be made by using micro-USB. The new "standard" means more data cables, car chargers, and even converters to be sell. Can't you smell the money to be made?

       

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    CSMcDonald (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 4:33am

    Apple didn't reveal anything here...

    Techcrunch verified this by talking to manufacturers... Who have been wrong before.

    Apple is most probably going with the smaller connector, but this story is still only speculation at this point.

    I also don't see it as a big deal - people will only be affected if they buy the device with the new connector - it's not going to magically retrofit your old iPods and iPhones to a smaller connector (that if the picture in the tech crunch article is correct looks much more friendly than the 30pin connector)

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 4:37am

      Re: Apple didn't reveal anything here...

      "it's not going to magically retrofit your old iPods and iPhones to a smaller connector"

      No, but it will force you to magically cough up the dough for new accessories if you want to use them with the new device, even though your old accessories still work perfectly fine.

       

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        CSMcDonald (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 5:25am

        Re: Re: Apple didn't reveal anything here...

        And the same thing would have happened if they had switched from a propietary connector to a USB connector - would that have been considered OK because they were now using open standards even though it made consumer's 3rd party devices incompatible?

        I still don't see the big deal - if you don't like it, don't buy it. Most of the people who are gleefully leaping to condemn Apple on this would never buy an Apple product anyways.

         

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    zanny (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 4:34am

    Apple consumers wont care, their used to paying silly amounts for stuff. 99% will even get off on all the extra $$$ they need to spend on new accessories.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 4:45am

    The current Apple connector sucks. I'm glad to see it go.

    Apple has been using the same connector since about 2001! Is it your view that it can't ever be improved?

     

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 6:20am

      Re:

      Yeah, its completely impossible to improve something without changing it completely!

      That's why no one uses that old USB connector that came out in 1994! Oh, wait...

      Ethernet! That's even older, it was standardized in 1985! No one could possibly still uses that... oh, damn.

       

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    Spike (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 4:59am

    Who is stupid enough to buy Apple docks without upgradeable dock inserts in the first place?

    Boohoo, my iPhone wont work in my car audio system, then you should had known better!

     

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      Berenerd (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 5:08am

      Re:

      It will be really funny for those who bought a car with an Ipod dock built in (yes there were several toyotas and Nissans and a few others who offered this as a feature)

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 5:29am

    c'mon they are just following Masnicks advice :)

    connect with fans, and reason to buy !!!!..

    what is really good, is that if you dont freaking like it, dont buy their fucking products !!!.. is that too hard for you ?? HAHA

     

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      DogBreath, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:39am

      Re:

      c'mon they are just following Masnicks advice :)

      connect with fans, and reason to buy !!!!..


      More like:

      (dis)connect with fans (except those that have already been bitten... i.e. "Apple rabies"), and (force a) reason to buy!!!!..(by planned obsolescence... i.e. your "old" stuff will soon no longer work on "our" network). HAHA

       

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    united9198 (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 5:33am

    Connector

    I am not going to panic over the connector change. Sure I have a lot to stuff that fits that connector, but I also know there there will be a huge market for an adaptor that several people will sell and the price will be competitive.

    I think back to Apple eliminating other connectors, dropping the floppy drive, dropping the CD/DVD drive, dropping the hard drive, and changing other ports and connectors. The panic that ensued was overdone for sure, but in the end it was the right thing to do.

    There are people still running Windows 95 and unaware of the new world around them. The same with the new connector. Eventually we will buy it and life will go on. There are bigger things in the world than what kind of connector comes on and Apple device. We still have the option to buy or not.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 5:38am

    Am I reading Digitimes?

    I'm still trying to find the link that shows where Apple has revealed anything. I think maybe you need to add a big "CONFIRMED" to the title. Is techdirt becoming the new Macrumors?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 5:44am

    I love reading all the android/microsoft fanbois talk about apple fanbois like their the worse than they are. You can tell who's who pretty simply by the inability to post any constructive facts without throwing a jab in. I own a MAC and a PC, an android phone, an iPhone and and iPad. Both platforms offer something to the end user. Its the end user who ultimately decides whats best for them. If you can't see the benefits of both and lay out the facts as it is, watching the insults you sling makes me giggle with glee at your own fanboyism.

    Coming back to the actual point. I think this is being made into a bigger deal than it actually is. If I were to listen to most of the crap your hearing, you would think that NOTHING is compatible any more with the new iPhone. Fact is it was only stuff that used the 30 pin connector. I've had an iPhone for 4 years now and the only thing that I have that uses the 30 pin connector is my power cable? And most consumers are in the position of what? having to buy a new clock radio? LoL... This single connector has been around for quite a long time, and a change from that for your average consumer isn't going to mean much of anything.

    I also think it might be a message apple is sending to the proprietary hardware makers out there that there is better technology that they can use to do the same thing. Take airplay for example. Lets say your the creator of a 30 pin to Composite cable. The consumer has to plug his iPhone or iPad into the 30pin cable which runs to the TV. This is very cumbersome. SO, knowing that their switching, you want to protect yourself against future changes like this, so you decide Hey, Apple has this thing called Airplay Mirroring. Lets make a box designed to hook into your TV, that does the same thing as that stupid cord, but it does it wirelessly. The creator is protecting themselves, by using tech thats more future proof than a 30 pin connector, and the consumer wins because who wants to sit 6 feet from their TV, controlling their phone?

     

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      Leigh Beadon (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:45am

      Re:

      I love reading all the android/microsoft fanbois talk about apple fanbois like their the worse than they are. You can tell who's who pretty simply by the inability to post any constructive facts without throwing a jab in. I own a MAC and a PC, an android phone, an iPhone and and iPad. Both platforms offer something to the end user. Its the end user who ultimately decides whats best for them. If you can't see the benefits of both and lay out the facts as it is, watching the insults you sling makes me giggle with glee at your own fanboyism.

      I love reading all the people who project "fanboi" status onto others. I'm exactly like you, with a mix of devices both Apple and non. But I don't see much to like in this particular change.

      Your decision to call me an Android/Microsoft fanboi based on that is pretty arbitrary. It's not about my inability to resist "throwing a jab in" - this is a commentary site, where we don't just report facts but also explain what we think about them.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:50am

      Re:

      Microsoft is as bad as Apple. Ever hear of Xbox? Even windows 8 is looking like MS is chasing after Crapple.

      I'm not really a fan of Android either, it has its own set of issues, though not as annoying as MS and Apple.

      I am a fanboy of open standards that don't rape my pocket book every few years though.

       

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    John Doe, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 5:52am

    This all makes sense

    This all makes sense when you realize that Apple is a hardware manufacturer and not a software publisher. Yet another reason to avoid Apple, walled gardens, proprietary connectors, etc.

     

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    Zangetsu (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 5:54am

    So what?

    Seriously, so Apple might introduce a new pin connector with the next iPhone. So what? If you want the new iPhone you buy new accessories. If you don't want the new iPhone don't buy it and use all your existing accessories. Some of the docks you could buy for a version 1 iPad don't work with a version 3 iPad just two years later. I didn't see mass protests in the streets and an Apple Spring occur.

    To say that there is nothing to gain, when all that is even guessed at is the fact that it goes from 30 pins to 19 pins, seems to be more of a shot in the dark more than anything else. What if the new pin connection is required to allow it to implement new features that luddites have never dreamed of. To be honest, Leigh, this doesn't sound like a typical TechDirt article, but more of a "I saw the Microsoft Surface and it uses standards so I hate Apple" article.

    "Don't innovate because that might leave people behind" is a quaint and antiquated idea, but if we followed your lead there would be little to no innovation in the world because at some point we would have had to leave people behind.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, the horses need watering before I hitch them up to the buggy and drive them to work.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 5:58am

    Well duh, what else should you expect from a greedy company like Apple?

    Apple proved that they cared about nothing more then making money with overpriced products when they released the iPhone4, and then denied for a couple of weeks that there was even a problem with it dropping calls, all while telling their people running apple stores "no refunds".

     

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    Lachlan Hunt (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 6:04am

    Either Apple or a 3rd party will make an adapter, so it's not a big deal. A lot of people are just overreacting about this.

     

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    Dalane K. Braunschweig (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 6:05am

    Really?

    I have always found it so interesting that the Apple Haters pick non-issues to hate on. Every other phone/device manufacture puts a different connect on just about every device and that is cool, but Apple talks about changing their gaint connect (30pin) that only uses 4pin, and well now they are the devil. only interested in stealing your money. Please!

     

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      reboog711 (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 6:36am

      Re: Really?

      Are you sure?
      With the exception of my iPad/iPod and my Samsung Galaxy Tab; every other device uses a micro-USB Connector.

      That includes the Kindle Fire, B&N Nook, Nexus One, Droid 2, Evo 4G, LG Optimus, Xoom

      I'm wondering what devices you've been using.

       

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      Leigh Beadon (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:41am

      Re: Really?

      I'm no "Apple hater". I type this from a Macbook as we speak. I have an Android phone at the moment, but I like iPhones too. I was thinking about buying an iPad for some of those pro music devices I mentioned (though now I plan to wait and see what happens in terms of connector compatibility over the next year or so, before spending several hundred dollars on that stuff)

      All I'm saying is, from a consumer perspective, I don't see why I should be anything but annoyed by this news - and same goes for most people. You can come up with a bunch of reasons for them to make the change, but none of them really matter to the user, who isn't getting much a direct benefit - just being forced to adopt a whole new standard for no particular reason.

      Every other phone/device manufacture puts a different connect on just about every device and that is cool

      Seems like the vast majority of android phones use the micro-USB standard, as do many many other mobile devices...

      well now they are the devil. only interested in stealing your money

      Did I say either of those things? No. I said this particular change seems like a cash grab and is not really friendly to users. I don't think they're the "devil" nor do I think they are "only" interested in "stealing" anyone's money -- I love Apple devices, I just don't love their walled-garden approach to everything, and I am vaguely troubled by the anti-power-user direction a lot of their stuff seems to be headed (e.g. I'm cagey about upgrading my OS to Lion)

       

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        PaulT (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:58am

        Re: Re: Really?

        "just being forced to adopt a whole new standard for no particular reason."

        Well, this is the assumption I have a particular problem with. I'm sure that Apple have very specific reasons for changing the connection. I honestly don't believe that Apple would have walked into this blind and expected not to have a backlash over the change - both from 3rd party manufacturers and from customers. It's the sort of change that would have been focus grouped and discussed to within an inch of its life before being implemented. Apple have reasons, we just don't know them yet.

        Yet, here we are with the phone not having been officially announced, and the assumption everyone seems to be jumping to is that it's either a pure profit grab or a completely arbitrary change to piss off customers.

        Until they announce the actual product (which could include adapters and other things that make the current conspiracy theories moot), we don't know the reasons. But, I can honestly say that "no particular reason" is a long, long way from their reasons for the change. Whether you personally like or accept the direction they're changing in is a different matter, but nobody's forcing you to upgrade if you prefer your old equipment or a competitor's approach.

        "I am vaguely troubled by the anti-power-user direction a lot of their stuff seems to be headed (e.g. I'm cagey about upgrading my OS to Lion)"

        I've personally had very few issues upgrading and the non-power user stuff I've seen so far like the iOS-style Launchpad are completely optional and I find they don't get used by myself TBH.

         

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      Hothmonster, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:00am

      Re: Really?

      Everyone else uses some size USB port on their laptop, tablet and phones. Apple loves to make their equipment with proprietary ports and sell adapter dongles for 80$. They do this for no other reason than to sell adapters and branded cables. The only proprietary port of theirs that is actual an improvement over the industry standard is their power jack on laptops.

       

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    S.Palmer, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 6:11am

    Makes switching to android that much easier

    Not sure this is the best decision for Apple. One of the things that kept me from switching the last time I replaced the 5 phones in my family is that we have so many cables, clocks, etc... that we've bought over the years that work with all the iDevices. If I'm going to lose that benefit with iPhone 5 then it's easier to make the switch to a Galaxy S III or some other Android phone.

     

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    George Boucher, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 6:13am

    A little premature, no?

    A few points: One, this is hardly 'confirmed'. I would say it is likely, but it's seems a bit silly to crucify Apple for a thing they haven't announced, displayed, demoed or otherwise had the chance to explain themselves. Two, mostly, iDevice owners dislike the current dock and have for a long time, so this is possibly a welcome change. We will have to wait and see (see first point). Three, while I agree, a normal micro-usb connector would be ideal, back in the day, Apple actually started with FireWire, because they wanted the connection to be better than the original usb standard. The 30 pin connector was a part of that same thought process, where they imagined it would have head-room to grow. This (mostly) didn't happen, and it was a mistake on Apple's part. I am sure there is a bit of the 'lock-in' factor with the current (and possibly new) connector, but I think it is also a factor of Apple wanting to do something better than the current solutions. Possibly they will be wrong about this, too. I will reserve judgement on whether this is a good thing or a bad thing until such time as Apple themselves announce thing thing. Have a great day!

     

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    Steve R. (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 6:28am

    No Surprise

    I was anticipating that would be the case when I heard a reviewer on TV use the buzz word "new".

    Also in the news: Microsoft: It’s official, Microsoft is not offering Windows Phone 8 to existing handsets.
    Like Apple, Microsoft is purposely "obsoleting" existing devices.

    In looking up the Window Phone 8 article, also ran accross this one: Microsoft to sites hosting leaked ‘Xbox 720’ document: Take it down

     

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      mikey4001 (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:58am

      Re: No Surprise

      That is pretty much the exact reason that I have an android rather than a Windows phone. Having previously admitted (reluctantly) that I own a ZuneHD, I can claim first hand experience with how Microsoft treats its customers. I love my Zune (again, admitted reluctantly), but I will NEVER buy another of their devices due to their universal non-support policy. With the possible exception of the X-box, pretty much every MS device I've ever seen was simply an unsupported test bed for their "next big thing" that's going to "get them back into the game." They release a device/standard that few buy into, so then they try something different and incompatible (repeatedly), leaving a trail of useless proprietary crap and pissed off customers in their wake. Then they wonder why no one wants to buy their new shiny.

      As much as I despise Apple, you have to give them credit for having an ecosystem that has been (sort of) consistent and stable for 10+ years.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:50am

    Adapter, problem solved.

     

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    Hothmonster, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:57am

    Hey you know whats smaller than your 30 pin connector? A fucking USB port you greedy fucks.

     

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    TimK (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:10am

    1. I don't own any Apple products so I don't care. But, having owned a dozen cell phones and having bought multiple chargers for each until the micro USB became standard.... I don't feel too bad.

    2. Obviously adapters will become available so its not like every dock and charger becomes useless.

    3. Everyone who sells their iPhone 4 and 4s to upgrade to the 5 will simply include their chargers in the sale and buy new ones with the phone.

    4. Not EVERY iPhone owner is a lunatic who must have the next device immediately. Yes, many of them are, but more people won't upgrade than will. That means the change won't actually impact the majority of iPhone owners.

    Just for fun....

    Here's a crazy theory: Maybe Apple is changing the dimensions of the new iPhone...perhaps its wider and taller and wouldn't fit in some of the older docks.... so if the old docks wouldn't fit the new phones anyway, now is the perfect time to switch connectors. hmmm....

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:21am

      Re:

      1. Its not just a charger issue, its a issue for hundreds of accessories.

      2. Woot, proprietary adapters, so another 40$ to apple to make shit work again.

      Here is a crazy theory, use the industry standard instead of licensing a proprietary port and selling 30-80$ adapters to fit industry standard.

       

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    jdub (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:23am

    This is great news. Now I'll finally have an excuse to move over to an Android phone. The only thing that was stopping me was because of all the accessories I have for the IPhone. Now they are making me switch. Good for Apple!!!

     

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    helicopterjeff (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:24am

    USB Standard

    Has anyone give thought to the fact that maybe this new connector is compatible with the mini/micro USB standard that Europe is pressing all new phones to support? Remember that from a while ago where they want all phones to use the same charging plugs?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 8:46am

    I originally had a com port mouse and AT connected keyboard on my first computer. Then I built a new computer but found out that I had to buy a new mouse and keyboard to fit the new ps/2 port. A few years later I built another computer and had to buy a new mouse and keyboard again since the new motherboard didn't have ps/2. I also had to buy a new CD rom as the new motherboard only had SATA.
    While it is a bummer that they are switching to a new adapter it will probably have some benefit. I don't stay on top of Apple products but my guess is that it will be able to make full use of USB 3.0 or maybe they will also have a thunderbolt adapter for even faster transfer speeds. I have always expected Apple was going to change adapter types this is why I have always recommended accessories that are generic.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:05am

    Could you repeat that?

    The new iWhat?

     

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    Rekrul, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:26am

    You should know by now that corporations regard "compatibility" as a dirty word.

     

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    Dirt_is_Fun (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 9:59am

    And people want iPod interfaces in cars?

    This reminds me of the dead end that navigation systems are. Why build a device with a two to three year lifespan into a car that will operate for three to five times longer? It doesn't make any sense. Siri for the car is just a button that WON'T WORK after three years!! I've always respected Apple products,and have owned their high end laptop and desktops, but the cost is just too high. You can count on Apple making an OS or hardware design decision that strands you, forcing a significant outlay of cash to keep from falling behind. It is their business model and it is wildly profitable.

    I believe this connector is a key reason why a universal standard like Bluetooth Audio has never been core to Apple's strategy.They keep building walls. If they keep it up, at some point customers will stop climbing them and leave.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    And the MacBook Pro has new screws

    Really. Because the Torx wasn't arcane enough, we now get the Pentalobe.

    Probably we'll need some Penta-LUBE with all the screwing that Apple is trying to give us....

     

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    Shmerl, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 3:19pm

    I guess Apple doesn't get the meaning of U in the USB (universal). Having proprietary connectors is a dark age approach.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 3:22pm

    All the Apple Apoligitards are just so fantastic here today. Defending Apple for making yet another anti-consumer move, that hurts the Apoligitards more than anyone else since they're clearly the big spenders needing to justify their annual purchase of the next gen of iProducts, now with NEW Proprietary tech that is entirely indistinguishable in functionality and quality from previous iAccessories _Except_for_the_Connector_, well that darn well justifies anything! Because Apple can do no wrong. Good job fanboys: Apple totally wouldn't fuck you over for a dollar, totally! :D (this is a totally sincere smile, BTW!!!! :) :) :) )

     

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    Gene Cavanaugh (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 9:59am

    New Apple connector

    If someone comes up with a 30 pin - 19 pin adaptor, they might just make a TON of money!

     

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    Aaron (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 10:41am

    Irony...

    Microsoft (and several other software companies) have been pulling this off in the software world for well over a decade. Apple is now doing it blatantly with their hardware.
    When Microsoft announced the Surface recently, Apple cultists screamed "theft!" over what they claimed was an iPad rip-off (despite the tablet PC being introduced by Microsoft a decade ago; a Start Trek: The Next Generation concept pre-dated even that.) Now that Apple is the one doing the "stealing" of Microsoft's core software business practice idea (albeit applied to hardware,) it's ok? Talk about double standards.


    (On a side-note here, since we're discussing Apple)
    Word of the day:
    Shinyware: noun. A generic piece of hardware, often behind current standards and non-upgradeable, polished and branded with the Apple logo. Nothing is really "extraordinary" about it, but is often proclaimed to be the next technological messiah.

     

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    •  
      icon
      PaulT (profile), Jun 24th, 2012 @ 3:19am

      Re: Irony...

      "Talk about double standards."

      Quick question- are these actually the same people you're referring to in both cases, or did one group of Apple users go gaga over MS and another defend MS and call the accusation pointless, as they are also saying about the connector change?

      If the former, I'd like to see some links to such blatant hypocrisy, otherwise you're just another asshole who pretends that anyone with a good word to say about Apple must be in some sort of cult.

       

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    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 12:20pm

    Not Obsolete: Adapters and Selloffs

    This isn't as bad as it sounds. Apple has offered some amazing port stability for over 6 years, so we should be somewhat grateful for that. At CES shows, I've noticed for years how the Apple accessory market vastly outstrips the RIM, Android, WinPho, Symbian, etc, EVEN as those makers have standardized largely on micro USB. The reason is that the Apple port has remained in the same place, centered on all devices. Android phones put their port on all four sides of the phone, in weird and varied locations.

    Anyways, there will be cheap adapters on Amazon and eBay 2 months after the next iPhone port is launched, so many accessories will still be totally functional. Others will lose their "stand" function and may need have some fit issues, but will still work. So they're not really obsolete.

    Meanwhile, I've already noticed that a lot of iPhone docks and speakers are popping up as clearance items around the web and at Woot.com. Obviously, sellers are reducing inventory of the 30-pin items. It's not a bad time to get a deal!!

     

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    Ninja (profile), Jun 25th, 2012 @ 8:03am

    I own an Asus Transformer TF201 and I am particularly annoyed by their proprietary connector (and the lack of where to buy the damn thing). My fault for not noticing this issue when I bought it. I got so excited with the features of the lil thing that this detail slipped away.

    I believe this (proprietary connections) is a waste of money and natural resources and I do hope we all move towards standards despite Apple proprietary idiocy.

    Now back to trying to find a place to buy spare cables to my tablet.

     

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    icon
    Seegras (profile), Jun 26th, 2012 @ 5:33am

    MicroUSB

    MicroUSB is the standard: http://www.omtp.org/pr-dt.html (Feb-09 - OMTP Common Charging and Local Data Connectivity v1.0)

    And if Apple decides to do something else, then they need to be pummeled with a heavy object (subjected to the application of a LART).

     

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    icon
    imockery (profile), Dec 13th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

    its an imockery!

    Many of us are not happy with yet another change for no apparent reason (why no mini USB you said you would do) other than to line some pockets but with Airplay devices becoming a lot more common we can only hope that they don't go changing that any time soon.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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