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For almost 9 years Apple has been using a 30-pin dock, but now rumors claim that the new iPhone has an 8-pin dock. With that, it is also said that for all the coming iOS devices, Apple has shifted its connector from 30-pin dock to 8-pin dock . So lets have a look today, how this change took place and why Apple made this shift.
The two important reasons that strike our minds for this change are that, firstly when the size of the device reduces, in order to make it look sleek and slim, the size of connector also has to be reduced. Secondly, smaller design of a connector is much more simpler to be used than a large complex one. But another important reason, that we skip, is long life of the connector. While designing a connector, longevity is the toughest part of creativity.
According to common thinking, a simple design of a dock connector includes a post that is inserted into a hole and the circuit gets completed, when the two metals come in contact. But actually the post with a hole is inserted into a hole with a post. You can easily understand this connection from the photo below:
The current 30-pin dock is designed in this way, but it is considered as a bit complex one, which can even sometimes cause damage to the device.
The next design is much more simpler and it also fits your idea of a connector, which means a post being fitted into a hole. In order to keep the signals continuous the two metallic ends should firmly bind together and avoid dislocation. In these designs solid metal piece comes in contact with a flexible metal piece.
The solid metal is strong and tough, while the flexible metal is weaker as it can move. Headphone jacks, for example uses this type of ports to reducing complexity as well as the chance for error.
After this comes even more compact and simpler design of dock. From the image below you can see 8 small, flat and rectangular gold pins on the dock. In easy words we can also say that in this connector the strong solid part is exposed where as the flexible metal is concealed in the port’s end side. This is also a simple post in whole design in which the gold pins are separated by the white part, surrounding the post.
The two designs that we so far discussed are more simpler than a 30-pin dock and thus are more durable and have a long life. If we concentrate on the design more than we can see that on the both sides of the post there are 8-pins, that can be implemented in two different ways, as firstly, the 8-pins on each side makes 16-pins all together and secondly the mirrored sides of function in the same way.
But it has also been noticed that iOS 6 Betas code shows ’9pin’. In this design the silver post might act as a big grounding pin. Apart from number of pins the two sides are perfectly symmetrical, due to which it can be inserted in either orientation and it will work. This port leaves no chances of that the port being inserted wrongly, causing a damage to the device.
From the dissembled pieces shown below we can easily see a light grey plastic thing attached to the metal. It also has a locking feature, as the divot on the edge of the silver post is attached to the spring-loaded clip inside the port, that makes an audible click sound, when inserted in. Moreover, the design of the post includes round edges due to which we don’t have to carefully align the connector with the port, rather we can easily make the entry of the post into the hole without causing any harm to the device.
The connector might not be magnetic because of the length of the connector, the locking divots, and it’s rounded at the end, but it is not sure yet.
Now comes the white plastic housing that is used to hold the connector to insert it. The circular hole in the back of the holding plastic is for the cable and seems to be roughly the same size in diameter as the current 30-pin connector cable. Another important thing about this connector is that how that flat silver post was made, which is quite complex to understand because of its unique design. But a good port must be resistant to corrosion and should also have excellent anti-wearing characteristics.
It is just a rumor that the new iPhone will have this 8-pin dock, which fulfills all the requirements of a connector, that are small, simple and long lasting. Thus we can expect this creative design to be the part of the upcoming iOS devices.
Initially in its production, the fruit company may find it expensive than the current 30-pin dock, but once it starts its production in scales than the production cost will decrease, making it even more efficient. Another significant thing about its simpler design is that it will be repaired quickly in low price, eventually making the customers happy and contented. This make savings possible for the Apple as well as for its customers.
Apple’s basic ideology to promote creativity seems very prominent in this design, as it appears to be designed by industrial designers and not electrical engineers. While in most companies the design projects are led by engineering teams. Furthermore, it is also important to be discussed that Apple always believes in their own designs and creativity rather than those present previously. This is quite vivid from the introduction of this new dock, instead of using mini or micro USB, that are smaller than the-30 pin connector, standards and cheaper. They already exist.
The foolproof design and the perfection of this connector in performing its functions clearly shows that such a brilliant and flawless design, that is started from the scratch, can only be put forward by a company that never compromises like Apple.
(Via Don Lehman)