One pretty consistent rumor surrounding the arrival of Apple’s next iPhone has been the move from the 30-pin to a new, smaller 19-pin dock connector. We’ve seen numerous images of case components that seemed to confirm this smaller interface. Nevertheless, some new rumors out today claim that Apple could be working on something just slightly different, looking at the possibilities of either an 8-pin or 16-pin connector.
The important thing about this switch is that we’re all going to need new cables, and accessory makers will have to come out with some new designs to ensure compatibility with the iPhone 5. Still, could there be any additional consequences if this new claim about even lower-pin-count connectors is accurate?
Especially if Apple goes with an eight-pin design, the company’s going to have to cut way back on the signals available through the port. In that case, we’d probably be looking at USB and maybe analog audio-out, but there’d be no room for anything else. There’s also the less likely chance that Apple could remove analog audio out, and require any audio-related accessories to interface with the phone digitally. That would add a lot of complexity to those designs, though, raising costs, so we’re hoping Apple doesn’t take that route.
A separate connectivity-related rumor suggests that the iPhone 5, with iOS 6 on board, will support some new kind of feature-sharing between compatible devices over Bluetooth 4, letting you connect to linked devices in the same household.