Skip to main content

Will Apple Be Forced To Put A Micro USB Port On The iPhone 5?

As the CEN-CENELEC and ETSI, two European standardization bodies, agreed to make of the microUSB interface the universal port for charging and transferring data for mobile handsets (and potentially for most other portable devices), one has to wonder what Apple will do.

The manufacturer uses a proprietary 30-pin connector on all of its portable devices and while it is unlikely that Apple will have two connectors on one device, it is very likely that an adaptor will be available.

Whether Apple will be forced to bundle it with the iPhone 5 or whether it will offer it as an optional addon depends on how far the European Commission wants to go.

Taking out the 30-pin connector may save a few pennies but most importantly, it may help save some space. It also means that many Apple accessories (docking stations, chargers, cables etc) may not be compatible with new iPhone models.

There have been a number of rumours pointing to the next iPad getting a USB port and it would therefore make sense for the iPhone 5 to get it as well.

However, the microUSB port is universal which means that Apple won't be able to control it, which is good for the customer but bad for margins on accessories.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.