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August 1, 2012

New iPhone: 30, 19, 16 Or Even 8 Pins?

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

Wait“¦ how many pins now?

Just when we thought we had it all figured out, some rumor site had to make sure to take away all our confidence, leaving us sniffling on the sidewalk, fingers still dripping with the cold frozen delight of all we thought we knew.

Makes you feel bad about the whole thing, doesn´t it?

For over a month, we´ve been hearing reports about the next iPhone´s complete dismissal of the ubiquitous 30-pin connector, a port which is nearly 10 years old and first showed up during the good old iPod days.

For a while, it was widely assumed (as these things usually are) that the next dock connector would be of the 19-pin variety. There were even some reports of a new, 16-pin connector, which further complicated the process of trying to predict a device which hasn´t been officially announced.

So, while those of us studying the iPhone rumor mill sat cross-legged on our Apple thinking mats, repeating the mantra of “4 inches, slimmer form factor, 19-pin connector,” the team at iLounge struck the Gong of Interruption, informing everyone that the next iPhone will not have a 19-pin connector or even a 16-pin connector, but instead will boast an even smaller 8-pin connector. Some quick, back-of-the-envelope calculations tells me that this would make it roughly half the amount of pins from the 19-pin variety we´d all prepared our selves for.

Credit where credit is due: iLounge is likely still riding the wave of having “correctly” predicted the Apple event wherein the next iPhone will almost certainly be introduced, September 12. If they got that little tidbit right, then who knows what they´re capable of?

When the 19-pin rumors first began to circulate, many wondered aloud if this new connector would in any way resemble Apple´s thunderbolt port, or maybe even their MagSafe connectors, both found on recent Mac portables. According to iLounge, the new, 8-pin connector could feature “other design innovations,” such as the ability to be plugged in at multiple orientations, much like the magnetic MagSafe cord. The iLounge piece didn´t mention if this new dock connector will feature the same magnetic abilities of the MagSafe connector, however.

For those wishing to remain forever in their 30-pin lifestyles, it´s also been rumored that Apple will offer a 30-pin to 8-pin (or whatever it ends up being) adapter to keep the connections alive.

iLounge also offers another exciting piece of potential information regarding iOS 6 and Bluetooth: According to their sources, Apple is working on a feature in iOS 6 which has yet to be disclosed which will create a bridge between Bluetooth-4 capable devices. For instance, a Bluetooth-4 enabled iPod Nano, strapped to someone´s wrist, could be used to display incoming iMessages from an iPhone, or even place phone calls through the iPhone through its own headphones. How Dick Tracy!

The possibilities are nearly endless, really. Phone calls could be placed on a Mac, for instance, making it a virtual office assistant, in a way. The iLounge team say their sources are telling them Apple plans to deeply integrate this feature in all Bluetooth 4 products.

Perhaps we´ve also just stumbled upon some extra, secret sauce Apple plans to slather on the iPhone to make it extra, EXTRA special?