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.
Rumors that the Cupertino company would overhaul the existing connector have been circulating for some time, and it is widely believed that the new iPhone — which is expected to make its debut this October — will be the first of its devices to employ the new design.
Strengthening those claims are two new job listings on Apple’s website for a “Connector Design Engineer” and a “Product Design Eng — Connector” who will be tasked with the “adaptation of existing connectors or complete new designs.”
The Connector Design Engineer will be responsible for managing multiple connector designs and developments in support of the iPod product lines. Cross-functional development and consulting will be a major part of your daily work. As a Lead Engineer you be responsible for identifying appropriate connection technology requirements for new products and follow through with selection and development of suitable interconnect products. This will often involve adaptation of existing connectors or complete new designs. Interfacing with connector suppliers to direct and implement the necessary design changes or creation of completely new designs will also be a major part of your daily work.
While Apple’s iPods and iOS devices have changed significantly over the years, their dock connector has remained the same. It’s big and clunky when compared to rival solutions like the micro-USB port, and this is becoming an issue as Apple looks to make its devices smaller and thinner.
Although it may not seem like such a bulky design, the 30-pin connector does take up a lot of room in smaller devices, like the iPhone and the iPod, which could be put to better use.
Of course, the change would mean that our existing cables and docks would not be compatible with future devices, and that’s probably why Apple has stuck with the current connector for so long. But the benefits of a smaller connector and therefore smaller and thinner devices are likely to outweigh those drawbacks.