Published June 22, 2012
All those expensive iPhone accessories you own, all the stuff that plugs into the bottom of the device -- speakers, docks, chargers and so on -- may be about to become obsolete.
Tech blog TechCrunch reports that Apple plans to change the design and size of the connector for the iPhone 5. The old 30-pin connector, which has been the standard since the third generation iPod, is to be replaced by a 19-pin mini connector.
"TechCrunch has independently verified that Apple is working on adding a 19-pin port to the new iPhone. It is a move that will surely send shocks through the iPhone accessory ecosystem," the site wrote.
"The new port is similar in size to the Thunderbolt port available on many MacBook devices but [TechCrunch] has been told by three independent manufacturers that the pin-out will be different."
"It's clear Apple is more concerned with space savings inside each device."
Leaked video footage claiming to be of the iPhone 5 shows a smaller connector.
TechCrunch's prediction that the news will send shockwaves is spot on.
Tech blogger Robert Scoble said the change would give Apple a tighter control on iPhone accessories.
"It will be nearly impossible to make unlicensed devices," he wrote on his blog. "Unfortunately these design goals mean making obsolete the something like 10 power chargers in my home. Sigh."
Awesome Robo's Sirio Brozzi wrote, "People are stunned by this possibility, myself included. I mean, why fix something that's not broken?"
Writing on Forbes.com, Dave Thier said "Apple is great at getting us to buy new products, and this may be one its biggest coups yet. The environment will suffer, like usual, but expect accessory manufacturers to make a mint after an uncomfortable transition."
Mashable reports the iPhone's dock connector "is about to go on a diet."
Apple has yet to respond to questions about the new connector design.