Next iPhone Will Only Have An 8-Pin Dock Connector, iOS 6 Will Make A Proper iPod nano Watch Possible [Rumor]

Next iPhone Will Only Have An 8-Pin Dock Connector, iOS 6 Will Make A Proper iPod nano Watch Possible [Rumor]

We have written before about why we believe that Apple will adopt a 19-pin dock connector for the next iPhone, but a curious report this morning suggests that, instead, Apple will get by with only eight. In addition, iOS 6 will feature a new Bluetooth 4 bridging feature that will finally make a proper iPod nano watch possible. Interesting!

Over at iLounge, Editor Jeremy Horowitz writes:

According to two sources, Apple’s new Dock Connector features only 8 pins, seemingly contradicting claims of “16-pin” and “19-pin” connectors. Although the original Dock Connector contained 30 pins, reports of 16- or 19-pin connectors seemed hard to square with the port’s small size and Apple’s actual need for additional pins beyond what USB/Micro-USB offer. No images or parts for the connector have leaked out, either. Both of our sources concur that there are eight pins in a line within the new Dock Connector, which may well receive a different name going forward….

One source claims that the new connector will feature other design innovations, potentially including the ability to be connected to docks and cables in either orientation (like MagSafe), but the other source could not confirm this or additional changes we’ve heard about…

This is a hard report for me to believe.

For one thing, iLounge claims that Apple doesn’t need more pins than what USB offers, but as we’ve shown in our extensive look at the past and future of the Apple Dock Connector, Apple’s design has many advantages over USB which they are unlikely to abandon. For another, the reason 19 pins makes sense is because there are exactly eleven pins on the 30 pin dock connector that are obsolete: the other 19 are still actively being used by accessory makers!  An 8-pin dock connector would presumably make a huge number of accessories on the market obsolete, even with an adapter.

That all said, iLounge is right: in images of the new Apple dock connector, it is undeniably a smaller port than 19-pins would seem to call for. Either Apple has figured out a way to more densely pack those pins, or we’re looking at a bigger upset in the third-party iDevice accessory market than we have thought, in which many of our legacy accessories are suddenly (and forcefully) put out to pasture.

In addition to iLounge’s 8-Pin Dock Connector claim, they say that iOS 6 will allow iOS devices to connect to one another through Bluetooth 4. Here are some possible uses described:

The feature would enable, say, a future iPod nano to display iMessages received by an iPhone, record voice memos that could be shared via the iPhone, and even initiate phone calls through its own headphones. It could also conceivably let you make iPhone calls from your iPad (or possibly even recent Macs), assuming the iPhone was paired with the computer over Bluetooth.

That iPod nano capability would be pretty sweet, finally making the nano a useful iWatch that you can send and receive text messages and phone calls on. This rumor’s a lot easier for me to believe than the 8-pin one. What do you think?

Related
  • xraydelta1

    Earth-shaking. Stunning paradigm shift. Life won’t be the same.

  • joewaylo

    Next rumor: Apple replacing the 8-Pin with Mini USB to make the universal groups happy.

  • joshfofer

    The Bluetooth feature is called MAP (Message Access Profile) and it’s not a rumor, it was explicitly mentioned in the keynote that detailed what would be coming with iOS 6:

    http://img.ddw.nu/ios6featurecard.png

    From Wikipedia: “The Message Access Profile (MAP) specification allows exchange of messages between devices. Mostly used for automotive handsfree use. The MAP profile can also be used for other uses that require the exchange of messages between two devices. The automotive Hands-Free use case is where an on-board terminal device (typically an electronic device as a Car-Kit installed in the car) can talk via messaging capability to another communication device (typically a mobile phone). For example, Bluetooth MAP is used by HP Send and receive text (SMS) messages from a Palm/HP smartphone to an HP TouchPad tablet.”

    This is the protocol the Pebble watch (for example) needs to communicate, and it’s why such interaction had been promised for Android but not iPhone… yet.

    http://getpebble.com
    http://forums.getpebble.com/topics/560

    I’m eager to see any announcements from the Pebble team about this, now that Apple’s announced their promise to include Bluetooth MAP in iOS 6. And if it means a proper iPod nano Watch might be coming too? All the better.

  • Martin Dobson

    I would love to see a magsafe dock connector. I’m running a 2006 mac mini so i’ve never really fiddled around with a magsafe before but I was in the apple store the other day and while waiting for my girlfriend I played around with a display’s magsafe… That thing is badass. However, Apple owns the patent on that and won’t open it up to 3rd party manufacturers for accessories. Some guys tried doing that with quick disconnect headphone jacks but allegedly apple keibashed it.

    I was one of the backers who jumped on the Pebble kickstarter wagon and also in my trip to the apple store the other day my girlfriend and I were talking about how Apple needs to do right with the iPod nano and add new features like what the Pebble will. Bluetooth caller ID and iMessages readability. Perhaps an integrated mic and button for Siri. I would definitely buy one as an accessory. But only getting a nano for music listing? Thats what my phone is for. Time for the iPods to expand on their capabilities and integration with other iOS devices.

  • banannasplitzer

    Am I the only one who wants an iPod nano for a watch and music, not integration with iPhones?

  • hellohello

    Another move that Apple makes to change something seeming insignificant but by making things redundant makes more money from the sheep in the middle run. Wake up people.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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