Apple still hasn’t owned up to inventing USB-C, the brand new connector featured on its 12-inch MacBook — but Apple patents have all but tied the technology to Cupertino. The latest describes how a do-it-all connector that fits USB-C’s description is going to make every other port you’re using obsolete.
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Apple’s guidelines for its new Lightning connector have forced a popular Kickstarter project that sourced almost $140,000 in funding — more than twice the amount it required — to close and refund all of its backers. Electronics firm Edison Jr designed a charging station compatible with a multitude of Android and iOS devices called the POP. But after exceeding its funding goal, it quickly realized that Apple wouldn’t approve it.
Following the unveiling of the iPhone 5 and a new family of iPods on Wednesday, Apple has begun selling a new Lightning to Micro USB adapter for customers in Europe. As its name suggests, the adaptor allows users to charge and sync their new iOS device using a Micro USB cable — in compliance with the rules laid out by European Commission.
Apple retail stores are now installing special dock connectors to prevent iOS devices from being stolen. They look just like the regular USB cable that ships with every iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, but they feature a nifty anti-left lock that prevents them from being removed from the device — essentially tethering the unit to the table.
Sources familiar with Apple’s plans have revealed to Reuters that the company’s “iPhone 5’ will launch with a smaller, 19-pin dock connector that will make room for a headphone jack on the bottom of the device. The move will mean that existing iPhone accessories — which use Apple’s existing 30-pin connector — won’t be compatible with the new handset.
A pair of new job listings on Apple’s website confirm that the company is seeking two engineers to overhaul the existing 30-pin dock connector currently employed by its iOS devices. The listings strengthen rumors Apple will introduce a new dock connector with its sixth-generation iPhone later this year, that will be significantly smaller than its predecessor.