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Image courtesy of Boy Genius Report
For the tens of millions of us patiently waiting for Apple to flip the switch on new iPhone preorders, Reuters has weighed in on a persistent rumor that the proprietary 30-pin connector that's been used since the third generation of the iPod is finally meeting its maker, presumably to make room for an underside headphone jack.
For those arguing that Apple wouldn't render a decade of third-party plugs and accessories incompatible, we beg to differ. Even if you want to ignore all of the leaked prototypes and case mock-ups that deliberately point to a narrow connector, remember that this is Apple. Millimeters mean everything, and the old-school connector takes up a bunch of them, so if we want a thinner phone, something has to give.
Just last week, Apple was granted patents related to its ongoing study of a better connector, with one related to "improved techniques for powering and/or charging peripheral devices through a data transmission line," and the other pertaining to a dock with a "moveable connector that is more durable ... thereby removing a force that can break the connector at a position of full rotation forward." While neither of these specifically point to a smaller connector, Apple is clearly looking to innovate in this field, as evidenced by the slightly thinner MagSafe 2 connector that accompanied the new Retina MacBook Pro and MacBook Airs.
But Apple rarely leaves us twisting in the wind. You can bet that iMore's sources are correct: Apple will indeed be supplying an inelegant solution in the form of an adapter (much like the $9.99 MagSafe one) to give your expensive accessories a little more life.