updated 09:37 am EDT, Mon July 23, 2012
May demand major changes from accessory makers
Two sources for Reuters are backing claims that the next-generation iPhone will switch to a new, smaller dock connector format. Current iOS handhelds use the same 30-pin format Apple has relied on for years. The new iPhone is moving to a 19-pin size "to make room for the earphone moving to the bottom," the sources say. The report appears to back leaks with photos of a smaller connector.
The change is expected to have a major impact on accessory makers, who will have to redesign anything fitted to iPhone/iPod ports. Despite the hassle, it may be worth it, since in some cases vendors have seen sales of products like speaker docks drop. "iPod docking speaker sales have been declining for one or two years," explains a worker at a Hong Kong company that designs speakers for Apple products, speaking with Reuters. "My previous factory is a lucky one. They shifted the focus to Bluetooth speakers, which proved a wise decision now. "It looks like while iPod speaker sales are going down, Bluetooth speaker sales are going up."
Analysts suggest that Apple will probably produce an adapter so that current owners of iPhone/iPod accessories won't have to abandon earlier purchases. Some iPhone/iPod speakers can easily cost several hundred dollars, although an increasing number have gone wireless -- either via Bluetooth or Apple's own AirPlay standard.