Patent filing predicts ultra-slim devices from Apple

Patent filing predicts ultra-slim devices from Apple
The iPad 2, the iPhone 4, the iPod nano, and the MacBook Air – they are all quite slim, aren't they? Well, the patent filing by Apple, which we just came across, is good enough of a reason to think that consumers have not seen anything in terms of thinness yet. The patent filing application describes several ways of implementing a 3.5-millimeter audio socket into any of Apple's future devices, which happen to be less than 3.5 millimeters (or about 0.14 inches) thick.

It is almost certain that the industry-standard 3.5-millimeter jack – the one that you see on your earbuds and a plethora of other earphones, is not going to be replaced anytime soon. That is why Apple has come up with three simple, yet promising methods of having a fully compatible 3.5-millimeter socket on its future ultra-slim devices. One of them leaves an opening on the socket and allows one side of the headphone jack to protrude over the device. Another suggestion adds hinges to the socket, which would flip upon the insertion of the jack and therefore allow it to stay firmly connected. The third, probably most sensible and high-tech solution, is partially covering the slot with a “semi-flexible material” that would extend when the plug is inserted. Check the image below to see how these three “low profile plug receptacles,” as Apple calls them, might look like.

Nobody has mentioned whether Apple is already developing devices that will take advantage of the port designs or not, but it will surely be quite an event if they eventually come out. Seems like the iPod nano and the iPod shuffle are the most suitable candidates for the innovation, yet one day the future iPad and iPhone models might also be treated to a slimmer and sexier look.

source: reghardware



1. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

Why hasn't BT headphones become the norm for listening to music yet? People are trying really hard to sell that white headphone image. It was cool 4-5 years ago, I think it's time to go for something better.

2. WirelessCon

Posts: 311; Member since: May 11, 2010

BT sound quality is poor while also being subject to charging and interference. A real good BT headset will cost a lot more than $10 corded headphones and not sound as good. Plus people who talk on BT headsets still look like crazy people talking to themselves or one of their multiple personalities. I've seen BT headset sales drop significantly over the last year, but our corded headsets have quintupled.

3. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Agreed. Bluetooth headsets are terrible now as is. Bluetooth has always been terrible. However, the upcoming Bluetooth spec may fix those problems. Until the, corded headsets are WINNING!

12. burnz unregistered

Is It A Charlie Sheen Type WINNING!

4. box unregistered

Why not introduce a smaller form factor for headphone jacks? DIdn't the Sony MiniDisc have a smaller jack (granted with a data socket for the remote)? Sell adapters for the small size to the 3.5mm and it'll do fine

8. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

there is, most phone's had 2.5mm headsets until music became the norm on phones

5. Daemon

Posts: 19; Member since: Mar 07, 2011

Don't we already have a smaller slot? Isn't it called mini-USB? I believe this slot works with my phone dock to play music. Why not headphones?

11. Daemon

Posts: 19; Member since: Mar 07, 2011

My bad. It's called Micro-USB.

6. BaiGanyo

Posts: 308; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

More crappy ideas from apple that will never become the standard.

7. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

It's innovation. And by patenting it they aren't trying to make a standard. They're trying to create an advantage by allowing themselves to make devices even smaller than the competition.

9. ssjassassin

Posts: 108; Member since: Aug 31, 2009

Great ideas on Apple's part. I do think we are at a time where we should be using micro HDMI out and other high fidelity outputs for headphones TV's and other devices. 3.5mm headphone ports are old tech and should be replaced with something that fits our new needs maybe even a mag port that would allow us to connect a headset and other outputs to a flush smooth surface.

10. Daemon

Posts: 19; Member since: Mar 07, 2011

I didn't like having a proprietary set of headphones for my HTC phone I am not going to like it any more when it is an Apple device. I don't need to have my pockets filled with adapters or headphones for each device I own. It took long enough for most everyone to use mini-USB as a charger (not Apple). I find it ironic though that Apple, for a company that touts being environmentally conscious, sure contributes to a lot of e-waste by changing the adapters for their devices whether it be a charger or headphones in this case with almost every release.

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