Apple may be preparing to abandon the current dock connector model found in their iOS and iPad devices, according recent rumors. The shift would be simply a matter of real estate. A smaller connector would allow more room inside the device case for a range of upgraded internal components.
While such a move may be an inconvenience in the short term for those owning multiple generations of iDevices and won’t be able to use the same cable across devices, the move makes a great deal of sense for Apple. As smartphones become more feature-rich, their components become larger, more power-hungry, or both. In order to get these components into a device that is a size, shape, and weight that users will accept - and that fits Apple’s particular philosophy of how big a phone should be - something has to give. By switching to a smaller dock connector, Apple gains more internal space for either new components or a larger battery, enabling them to maintain the device’s size without sacrificing functionality.
The move is hardly unprecedented. This same sort of thinking drove Apple to switch from SIM cards to micro SIM cards in the iPhone and 3G-capable iPad. It was also part of the decision to give the iPhone 4 an external antenna. That decision, however, didn’t work out so well for Apple, as the placement of the antenna as a metal band around the outside of the device created reception problems for many users. In fact, the so-called “Antennagate” scandal prompted a class action lawsuit that was recently settled by Apple. As part of the settlement every iPhone 4 owner gets either $15 or a free bumper case.[Hat Tip, iMore]