Apple Could Eliminate The 30-Pin Dock Connector With MagSafe Data Cables



We already know from previous reports that Apple is working on a magnetic charging system for iOS devices, similar to the MagSafe connectors on its MacBooks. But one hurdle that stood in the company’s way was the MagSafe’s inability to transfer data.

However, a newly published patent entitled “Programmable Magnetic Connectors” seems to confirm that Apple is making progress on a magnetic connector capable of transferring power and data, which could spell the end of its 30-pin dock connector and even the headphone jack.

The patent, entitled “Programmable Magnetic Connectors,” was picked up by Apple Insider earlier this week.

Apple explains that the disadvantage to its existing 30-pin dock connector and headphone jack is that they precent a device from being properly sealed. This is why Apple places liquid damage indicators in those ports. Furthermore, the male end of these connectors is left exposed when it’s not inside your device.

However, a magnetic connector would allow Apple to seal the device, making it more difficult for moisture to penetrate through its ports. And not only would the system work for data and power transfer, but also as a replacement for the headphone jack.

Apple’s solution is a new universal cable that features programmable magnets unique to each device. When you attach a cable, it would automatically recognize the device it’s hooked up to and “reconfigure itself accordingly,” the filing reads.

In one embodiment, Apple details a headphone jack that is concealed within a plastic casing at the end of its cable. When the user attached it to their device, a magnet pulls the jack out of its housing and into your device.

But Apple explain that these magnets could also be used to “repulse, eject, and/or precent coupling of certain cables.”

This is very exciting stuff for those who use iOS devices. As much as I love mine, I hate the 30-pin dock connector, and I’d much prefer a universal solution — especially if it’s got magnetic powers.

[via Apple Insider]

  • Caio Bianchi

    I hate the 30-pin dock connector. Good News.

  • joewaylo

    Only bad part is we will have to buy expensive MagSafe headphones or rely on the buggy Bluetooth headsets if they remove the headphone 3.5mm jack.

    No doubt MagSafe headphones will be $50 each replacement when it gets tangled up.

    Bluetooth doesn’t work so well outdoors whatsoever and cancel out too much unless you have the device in your hand and not put away in a backpack or article of clothing. Only a few actually work with the iPhone except ones like Motorola’s S9/S10 HD headphones where it has no noise cancellation.

  • Georgesab

    It would just be one big problem, no accessories would work. All your docks, headphones all rendered useless, it wouldn’t go down well.

  • Mike Rathjen

    I gotta say inductive charging is the way to go. I love it on the TouchPad.  Simply rest the Touchpad in its stand, either portrait or landscape, and it charges!

    No cables to attach. No connection to line up. No dock connector to break or wear out. No cable coming off the side to charge when in landscape. Syncing via wi-fi.

    I’m going to replace the Touchpad with an iPad3 this year, but the inductive charging method will be sorely missed and the iPad’s dock connection/cable charging method will seem as archaic as a corded telephone.

  • Nathan Glass

    It only becomes a “problem” once you buy the upgraded device. Otherwise your current device will still work with your current accessories.  

  • TheOne

    I’m sure some people don’t desire change; however, it might benefit everyone it in the future.

  • Clark Wallace

    Good I hate the 30-pin dock connector, I’ve replaced so many of them on peoples phones because SOMEHOW people manage to crush the pins, what the hell? Magsafe on the ihone could be cool.

  • crateish

    Kill the 30-pin. Kill the 3.5 mm headphone jack.

    Move us forward.

  • Hugo Horta Ruivinho

    No doubt there will be an Magsafe adapter that will allow all current headphones do connect..

  • Skiour

    Love the magsafe connector and would love to get rid of the 30-pin dock.

    This patent is pretty broad though as covered by these guys:

  • MySkyizBlue

    I don’t see a point to magnetic headphone jacks, I don’t want the headphone jack to be easily removed that would be a pain in the tooty

  • Crusty Gronk

    I’m beginning to hate Apple and its products. As much as I hate working with windows, Apple is just dropping the ball with all the garbage products.

    I’ve been with Mac for 7 years. In that time mac has refused to integrate. At work, or at school, I look like a fool because I cannot read windows files. I fully believed that by now I’d be able to compete with any windows client or colleague, but I cannot unless I hunt for programs to download which I shouldn’t have to do. What good is a Mac if I have to use software bought from the net? I’ve got to hunt for programs constantly that will allow me to work in the real world. I’m just sick of it.

    I’m also sick of stupid things like, I don’t know, crashed hard drives? Computer refuses to start? And battery chargers that constantly break down and cost an arm and a leg to replace. The products are far to expensive to be worth this much hassle. And as I’ve found with smart phones, the competitors are doing it far better. iPhone is outclassed and out dated and I’m shocked to hear myself say it, but I think Mac is too expensive, too far behind and far to inbreed. Nothing is compatible with PC, I get it, more cash for Mac, but nothing Mac is compatible Mac to Mac, either? If you’ve had your Mac for a year, it’s obsolete!

    Sure, if you want the best you’ve got to pay for it, but I’m beginning to think Mac is not the best, but is, instead, simply a very expensive toy. We’ve all made Mac rich buying these toys in the hope that one day they would be grow into real computers and become compatible and user friendly in the real world. I’m shattered — but they are not.

    I’m going back to windows. At least when windows finally needs upgrading, I can afford to do it, and do it twice as often. $60 dollars for a freakin’ charger is simply highway robbery. I’d buy none genuine if I could get one. I usually do, I try not to buy anything original for Mac. If it was a quality item it would have lasted in the first place and I wouldn’t have to replace it. Why would I buy another expensive toy accessory? When I can buy it none genuine for a third to a quarter of the price.

    Good riddance Mac.