Apple's next generation iPhone is highly expected to be released in just a couple of months from now, and the smartphone, as in the case of any new iDevice release, is currently the hot topic of discussion among millions of tech enthusiasts around the world.
At a time when industry analysts, insiders and Apple fans are speculating what the new iPhone, aka "iPhone 5," will finally offer, a number of new features have created much buzz over the last few months. And one of the recurring features is a smaller dock connector replacing the existing 30-pin one.
Multiple earlier reports suggested that the Cupertino tech giant might be switching to a smaller port with 19 pins from the traditional 30-pin dock connector that would increase possibilities of new product designs, a bigger battery or a thinner unit in general.
While the smaller dock connector still look probable, as per the rumors go, a latest report by iLounge Wednesday suggested that Apple could shrink its connector dock even further to just eight pins and that it could also receive a new name altogether.
"Although the original Dock Connector contained 30 pins, reports of 16- or 19-pin connectors seemed hard to square with the port's small size and Apple's actual need for additional pins beyond what USB/Micro-USB offer," said the report.
"One source claims that the new connector will feature other design innovations, potentially including the ability to be connected to docks and cables in either orientation (like MagSafe), but the other source could not confirm this or additional changes we've heard about," the report added.
John Brownlee of CultOfMac, on the other hand, found the iLounge report hard to believe. He disagreed with iLounge's claim that Apple did not require more pins than what USB offered and said that the company's design in fact had many advantages over USB, which they cannot just dump in such a blasé fashion.
Brownlee tried to explain why the inclusion of a 19-pin doc connector to the new iPhone makes more sense. On the 30-pin dock connector, there are 11 pins that are obsolete, while the other 19 pins are still actively being used by accessory manufacturers. Given that, if the numbers are cut down to just eight pins, it "would presumably make a huge number of accessories on the market obsolete, even with an adapter."
However, as Brownlee noted, many earlier leaked photos, claimed to be of the next iPhone, did indicate that a port smaller than the rumored 19-pin could be featured. According to him, if these leaked photos have any credence, then either Apple might have "figured out a way to more densely pack those pins, or we're looking at a bigger upset in the third-party iDevice accessory market than we have thought, in which many of our legacy accessories are suddenly (and forcefully) put out to pasture."
In addition to the 8-pin dock connector claim, the iLounge report also said that iOS 6 would get a new feature allowing supported devices to connect to one another through Bluetooth 4.
The report explained:
"The feature would enable, say, a future iPod nano to display iMessages received by an iPhone, record voice memos that could be shared via the iPhone, and even initiate phone calls through its own headphones. It could also conceivably let you make iPhone calls from your iPad (or possibly even recent Macs), assuming the iPhone was paired with the computer over Bluetooth."
iDownloadBlog added to it saying:
"Since Bluetooth 4.0 consumes very little power and takes only six milliseconds to pair versus six seconds for the current Bluetooth implementations, it's well-suited for really small portable devices that have small batteries and need to be extreme aggressive in power management."
When it comes to other highly expected iPhone 5 features, the device is likely to include a much-improved processor, a larger 4-inch Retina display, 4G LTE technology, Near Field Communication (NFC), 1GB RAM, iOS 6, improved Siri, liquidmetal casing, an 8 megapixel (or even higher) rear camera, a 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video chatting and a much-improved battery life.