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back to article Apple's iPhone 5 connector said to be a control freak

Rumors that the iPhone's familiar 30-pin connector will be replaced in the iPhone 5 with a Micro-USB port have riled the fanbois universe, inciting charges of planned obsolecense and worse. New reports, however, point not to a standard Micro-USB port, but a new – and proprietary – Apple port. A bit of background: in case you …

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WTF?

err

Dont they **have** to give it a micro-usb compat in order to sell it in the EU? wasnt there a big ISO kick-off about phone chargers and whatnot a while back, or am I drunk again?

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Anonymous Coward

Is it? Isn't it?

Speculation is the best form of advertising.

Maybe just wait until it appears, and I'm sure if they do something different there will be an adapter to see you through the transition .

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Silver badge

Re: err

IIRC, the use of an adaptor satisfies the EU. Apple will charge you 8 quid for such a thing.

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Stop

Re: err

Don't misunderestimate the ingenuity of the Chinese! Give it three months and eBay will be awash with 99p perfectly-functioning replicas!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: err

I already got my microUSB adapter from Poundland. For £1, obviously. Plenty on Ebay at similar prices too.

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Trollface

Re: err

"ingenuity ... Chinese ... perfectly-functioning replicas"

Seriously? Say this out loud.

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Anonymous Coward

Not the first time

They have messed with their 30 pin ports in the past, which is why some old accessories don't work with newer devices. I remember getting a new iPod at one point, and some of my chargers didn't work with it.

Even now, the power requirements differ between devices. My iPhone will charge from my pc USB port, but my iPad doesn't.....

Wouldn't surprise me at all if they changed it all again, but that's the great thing about rumours, we won't know for sure till the 'new iPhone' is launched...

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Re: Not the first time

Your iPad will charge from your internal USB port, but only when it switched off and very slowly. Its actually because your PC doesn't meet the USB specifications requirements.

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Silver badge

Re: Not the first time

You're absolutely right — specifically the port carried both Firewire and USB, the Firewire pins being one source of power that iPods could charge from. The Firewire functionality was removed so those chargers that supplied only via that connection ceased to function.

If they swap connectors, expect adaptors to flourish.

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Re: Not the first time

To be fair, that is because the first iPods were connected via Firewire, not via USB. There was not reasonable way they could have been USB, because that was the time of USB 1.1, which simply was not fast enough to put all your music on an iPod in a reasonable time.

When USB 2.0 became ubiquitous, iPods for a time supported both standards, then for a time they dropped the Firewire data connection but allowed Firewire charging, and finally went to USB only.

I find it hard to blame Apple for anything there - standards simply changed.

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Silver badge

Re: Not the first time

You're right, we forget how slow USB 1.1 was, but at the time we didn't mind because it was still new and cool to plug in a peripheral and use it without first restarting the PC! My digital camera at the time used standard floppy disks. Optical mice were still new. Getting a 3 MB Word file from a home computer to the Reprographics department could still be headache. CAD software had only been aimed at Windows machines for a few years, and often still looked like a UNIX port. Halo was going to be a game for Macs. Everyone had a Nokia; the battery lasted for weeks but your call-time top up lasted minutes. VHS ruled.

FireWire was already in Macs, because Apple only seemed to have survived the nineties by being used in specific sectors, those that used high resolution scanners, digital camcorders and audio interfaces. It gave them a bit of a head start when they wanted to introduce a device measured in GBs not MBs.

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FAIL

Re: Not the first time

Erm, I think you'll find that the PC USB port will adhere to the USB standard. USB 2 according to the specs will supply up to 500mA. USB 3 will supply up to 900mA. The power adaptor for the ipad supplies up to 2A. So even if you have a USB 3 port, that is still less than half the power of the ipad charger.

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Usb spec

No, usb spec is strictly 500ma Max, if your PC (motherboard actually) goes beyond it to make "people using PC to charge phones" happy, don't take them very serious.

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rvt

Re: Not the first time

Henry, nit sure where younget that from but mine charges fine whenin use and it stillcharges fine.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Usb spec

@llgaz: ports complying with USB Battery Charging Specification can actually deliver up to 1.5A.

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Re: Not the first time

" So even if you have a USB 3 port, that is still less than half the power of the iPad charger"

…unless you are using some models of a Mac, in which case Apple exceed the USB standard for their kit.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4049?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

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Re: Usb spec

My USB ports supply enough to properly charge an ipad, and they even work with the PC switched off. Everything else USB work fine as well, so specifications be damned, it's damn handy!

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Re: Not the first time

One of the many reasons I've given for not wanting to get an iPhone is their special connector. You can get just about anything, from a TV to a car, with a built in Apple dock.

But I've warned people over and over, once you go down the Apple road, its hard to get out as everything you have uses their special connection.

No doubt, they will sell a new to old converter for the next few years, before they make that redundant too, till you all rush out and by new junk with Apple connections, while everyone else who use different brands of phone and mp3 player can hop between manufacturers and not have to change everything they own to fit it.

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JDX
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Seems a bit daft, the vast majority of addons are not sold by Apple so what do they gain?

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A 100% Apple-controlled slice of the third party takings? A bit like iTunes, for hardware.

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I suspect that companies will have to license that watchdog chip if they want their gadget working.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

I work with accessories for the iPhone and over the years Apple has actually been substantially reducing the licensing costs and complexity for iPod/iPhone/iPad accessories. For most devices there is a cost, but it's small fixed amount, similar to a codec license. Recently for Bluetooth 4 devices they have dropped MFI licensing altogether.

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Anonymous Coward

Seem to remember when firewire came out Apple wanted $1 per port royalty when the rest of the license pool were happy with 50c per device ... result was that part of the group went off and put their weight behind USB .

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I once had a chat with an Apple support manager - the thing is... "we don't give a stuff about third party suppliers". Apple invent the specs and everyone else can play catch-up. Why *should they care, anyway? Apple don't make money off someone else's iPad case or phone dock.

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Devil

re: Conspiracy theory, like iTunes

Apple are planning to monetise, then take over the electricity suppliers - 500mA/h at a time?

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Gimp

No matter

If they do change the connector, there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth, but people will still buy them because they're iPhones.

As an aside, I can't see a magsafe connector making the phone more secure in a car mounting scenario. I thought the idea of magsafe was to make them quick-breakaway so that you didn't pull your Macbook off the desk when you tripped over the cord. Or at least that's what the "I'm a Mac" guy told us.

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Silver badge

Re: No matter

Magsafe connectors are secure until a threshold level of force is applied- in an automotive situation, this would mean that the phone would't 'creep' off its mount due to vibration.

Somehow, I can't see Apple 'doing a Nokia'* without good reason- the abundance of kit for iDevices gives them the edge in convenience compared to other PMPs and phones. I guess it would have been too sensible for makers of rival devices to knock their heads together and come up with a rival dock-connector standard- Google could have taken a lead here, as Android leader. AFAIK only Sony have tried; bless em.

*go from having two compatible chargers in every home, to 'WTF is this skinny thing?' to 'its got a f^%^ing mini / micro USB socket, why isn't the wretched thing charging off it? FFS!'

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Holmes

Re: No matter

They already did. It is called Micro-USB.

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Coat

Re: No matter

Micro-USB is still too big, I'm looking forward to Femto-USB.

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Mad/ charismatic scientist needed

We just need another Tesla. Electrical engineers hate us telling this but just imagine Tesla had access to computers with today's knowledge.

It is 2012 and all we talk is whether a magnet need for a copper or its plug standard. Typing this on a dual core htc which I will have to plug soon. Nobody sees how pathetic it is? :)

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Mushroom

Re: Mad/ charismatic scientist needed

I'd be happer without another Tesla, actually. Tesla + Apple == Peace Ray?

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Re: Mad/ charismatic scientist needed

Apple is already Edison company based on their style.

We need mad scientist (Tesla)+ not so educated but filthy rich/ connected capitalist (Westinghouse) combination.

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FAIL

'As such, this could all be speculation'

You think?

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If it's true it's a total non-event. At worst you end up buying an adapter not re-buying everything and quite frankly catering to idiots who refuse to move forward is why we were stuck with IE6 so long.

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Anonymous Coward

idevice users...

You deserve it.

Wait til the fall to hear about this being the greatest thing ever.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: idevice users...

I know, right?

Do I smell a sour dairy product?

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Meh

So when

Are they supposed to be implementing the chargerpad that charges when you lay your device on it...bypassing all this.

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Facepalm

Re: So when

I've never understood why the iMac and Apple Displays never had inductive-coupling pads built into the base, to charge the wireless keyboards, mice, trackpad, and iDevices.

Especially since the KB/MS/TP combo chews through rechargeables :S

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Re: So when

I hope not.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So when

"Especially since the KB/MS/TP combo chews through rechargeables"

Eneloop batteries work great - getting loads of recharge cycles from mine

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Joke

So what?

I'll have to replace all my apple gear with virtually identical iStuff, but it'll be a small price to pay to be able to brag that I have an iPhone 5!

Worth every penny.

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Happy

Rip off

"Fury at Apple's 'rip-off' plan"

Haha, surely iphanbois should be used to being ripped off?

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Silver badge

Re: Rip off

Check out the sales figures — there are a lot more people than the tiresome Internet flame brigade buying Apple products.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Rip off

@ThomH

Two things:

1) Well all those people should be used to being ripped off then

and

2) I didn't realise any of the tiresome internet flame brigade were buying Apple products. Unless you count the 50% of said brigade who live on the Apple side of the fence anyway.

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Re: Rip off

Uh huh.

So, still using VHS? USB1? Floppy disks? Cassette tapes? Buggy whips?

Part of the market, particularly in electronics and computing, is that when the latest and greatest is released, it's not really the latest and greatest because the latest and greatest's replacement is already in the lab and will be out within three years.

So you can recognize this and deal with it, and recognize that Apple is more of a leader than a follower in this. Or you can stick with older tech and then have to upgrade when you get left behind. Your choice.

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FAIL

How about Apple spend some time fixing the damn power cables?

The iGadget power cables always fall apart - the cable jacket separates from the docking connection even with careful use. The original cables supplied with the iPods and iPhones all failed within a few months. The expensive genuine replacement cables failed in exactly the same way. Now we buy "OEM" ? cables in bulk from an overseas supplier (DX) - at least they're cheap enough that we've mitigated the financial impact of this Apple design FAIL.

I've never seen such a poor and unreliable design. Shame on Apple.

If Apple is now planning to lock out the aftermarket suppliers of $3 power cables, and not fix the design, this one stupid thing will have me looking at other options.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How about Apple spend some time fixing the damn power cables?

Apple recently already improved the connectors... and it's not like they wouldn't give you a new one for free if you dropped by one of the stores with the broken one.

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Meh

Re: How about Apple spend some time fixing the damn power cables?

I never had an iDock cable fail. My gf uses my old iPod touch from 2007 daily, with the cable that came with it and it looks and feels as new.

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