Don Lehman on the New iPhone and Dock Connector

by jscariati

Industrial designer Don Lehman has penned two articles analyzing what are supposedly leaked parts for the upcoming new iPhone and its dock connector. Lehman not only analyzes what has changed with each part over the prior generation, but why it has changed and what the benefits are.

After reading both articles, I’m completely convinced that both part leaks are real. In summation, both new designs provide increased strength and durability despite reductions in thickness, weight, and overall size – exactly what you would expect from Apple, and way too detailed and well-thought-out to have been faked or planted.

While all of the excitement and anticipation is centered around the upcoming new iPhone, it’s also a single product updated on a regular yearly schedule. If an aspect of the new iPhone’s design fails to meet expectations, Apple can simply improve upon it with the following year’s model.

But the stakes are actually much higher with the new dock connector, because Apple doesn’t have the luxury of modifying it every year due to the huge number of third-party products that rely on its particular size and shape (cables, speaker docks, cases, accessories, etc). As a result, today’s iPhone and iPad still use the same 30-pin dock connector that was first introduced in 2003.

So a change to the dock connector has to make sense for today’s products, future versions of those products, and even totally new products that haven’t been invented yet (note that the iPhone and iPad didn’t yet exist when the dock connector was introduced). That’s a tall order.