More evidence is piling up that Apple wants to rid itself of the current dock connector for iOS devices. The latest evidence is an Apple job posting for an engineer that can create a new connector.
According to TechCrunch, Apple is looking for a Connector Design Engineer. The new engineer would be “responsible for managing multiple connector designs and developments in support of the iPod product lines.” The posting mentions the engineer’s job will also “involve adaptation of existing connectors or complete new designs.”
From the description, it sounds like Apple is finally moving away from the current dock connector.
Apple first introduced the current dock connector in 2003 along with the third generation iPod (the first two generations used FireWire ports instead). Almost every iPod and iOS device since has used the connector, with the iPod shuffle and the current iPod nano being the only exceptions.
Recent iPhone rumors and leaks point to a new, smaller dock connector on the iPhone 5, which this potential engineer might be working on. The smaller dock connector lets Apple create thinner devices, as well as move around ports on the device. The leaked back covers we saw this week showed the headphone jack on the bottom of the iPhone, which isn’t possible with the current dock connector, but it possible with a smaller one.
The big downside to Apple creating a new dock connector is it means users will need to buy whole new cables and accessories for their next iPhone, or other iOS or iPod device. Many companies have put out accessories that use the dock connector over the years, and they’d be useless with new devices unless Apple puts out an adapter that would likely cost $30 like every other iPhone accessory Apple sells.
The move will be great for Apple and accessory makers who get to sell a bunch of new accessories to users, but bad for users who already have a ton of accessories and don’t want to buy them again.