The 19-pin connector will replace the current 30-pin design in order to create major space savings for the Apple iPhone 5, according to a TechCrunch report citing three leading companies that create accessories for current iPhones.
Three independent manufacturers all agreed that the 19-pin dock port is in the works and many accessory manufacturers are facing an uneasy few months as they wait for official news of the standard to be announced, TechCrunch writer John Biggs wrote late last month, setting off a major controversy over the anticipated change.
The controversy comes from the fact that switching to the smaller size -- though it would save space inside the iPhone itself -- would make many of your accessories obsolete.
So if the change is undertaken, say goodbye to favorite items ranging from your iPhone 4s or earlier's 30-pin charger cable to any docking stations, iTrip units or other accessories that use the current 30-pin slot found on the bottom of your iPhone (the slot where you plug the charger cable in, or where you plug the phone into said docking stations or similar accessories.)
The 30-pin slot has been standard since Apple's third-generation iPod, and the outcry over changing to a 19-pin connector has already begun in force, as people face the annoying prospect of having to buy all new docking stations, speakers, iTrips or other devices.
Tech site Awesome-Robo.com cynically posits that the whole connector-upgrade scenario could be a rigged money-maker:
Have you guys ever heard of 'planned obsolescence?' It's a practice which encourages planning and designing a product so it's only useful for a limited time, before becoming obsolete. It's common practice, and used by many companies to create demand for the 'newer, better' model of the product, the blog wrote. Yet this move is possibly prompted by the major accessory makers facing dwindling sales, as customers see no need to buy new accessories for a smartphone that had a universal dock system for 6 generations. What most tech blogs failed to address was the following question: Did the top accessory makers pad Apple's pockets, or hardball negotiate for an incentive to drop the standard cable as a means of forcing consumers to buy new accessories? We're inclined to think so.
And the writer of that article even went so far to say that rather than buy new, upgraded, 19-pin versions of all the accessories he or she already has for iPhone, he or she would rather go ahead and buy an Android phone. Strong words for an Apple fan.
Forbes also weighed in on the controversy, though contributor Dave Thier chose to go with a much less doom-and-gloom assessment, saying that he is surprised that the connector was able to go unchanged for a decade in the first place:
This was most certainly coming, and there was never any reason to expect Apple to hang onto the same adapter for more than a decade, Thier wrote. And somebody will make a 19-30 pin adapter, but we're still going to see the industry move towards making everything for the new iPhones rather than the old ones. I bought an iTrip when I went on a roadtrip to a music festival eight years ago. It's worked for me ever since. Next time I want to upgrade, I suppose I'll have to say goodbye.