On Tuesday, Apple launched the first Lightning connector dock that is compatible for several generations of iPhone and iPod touch. The iOS device sits upright in the dock as it charges or syncs to your computer. Devices that have an Apple-approved case on them will still be able to dock. The dock is available to ship in one to three business days and it’s on sale for $39.
The new dock is quite interesting since it works for current and previous generations of iPhone (5, 5c, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus) and iPod touch (5th generation 16GB and 32GB/64GB), but it wasn’t launched when any of these devices were announced. The dock waited several months after the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus until it was made available. The next-generation iPhones (iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus) are expected to be announced in four months so this delayed launching of the dock tells us that the new iPhones will be able to work with the dock. Apple wouldn’t announce an accessory that works with several devices and then four months later take it away since it doesn’t work with the new devices. This shows that the new iPhones will also have the Lightning connector and not USB-C for their charge ports (like the new MacBook).
In addition, the dock has a Lightning connector on the top (where the iPhone plugs in to), but two ports of the backside (headphones jack and Lightning connector). Apple is using the Lighting connector on the dock for charging, syncing and transferring audio to the headphone jack. This could potential hint that Apple is starting to look at designing headphones that plug into the Lightning port instead of the traditional headphone jack. Last year, it was reported that Apple was working on a version of its headphones with a Lightning connector. These new headphones may see the light of the day at Apple’s announcement in September. Since Apple is also usually first to make significant changes to their products, like removing the disc drive from the MacBook lineup, we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple took away the headphone jack from their iPhones too in the near future.
Earlier this year, we designed a concept for the iPhone 6s without the 3.5mm headphone jack. This allowed the bottom of the phone to be more symmetrical with stereo speakers. We hope Apple will design a new phone similar to the one we created.