||It has been suggested that this article be merged with Docking station. (Discuss) Proposed since October 2013.|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2012)|
A dock connector is a connector used to attach a mobile electronic device simultaneously to multiple external resources. The dock connector will typically carry a variety of signals and power, through a single connector, to simplify the process of docking the mobile device. A dock connector may be embedded in a mechanical fixture used to support or align the mobile device or may be at the end of a cable.
The dock connector was originally associated with laptops, but other mobile devices use the concept.
Docking connectors for laptop computers are usually embedded into a mechanical device that supports and aligns the laptop and sports various single function ports and a power source that are aggregated into the docking connector. Docking connectors would carry interfaces such as keyboard, serial, parallel, and video ports from the laptop and supply power to it.
Many mobile devices feature a dock connector.
Dock connector can be used to interface with accessories such as external speakers, including stereo systems and clock radios. Automotive accessories for the mobile devices include charging cradles, FM transmitters for playing audio through the car's speakers and a GPS receiver. There are dock connector cables that offer additional capability such as direct integration with the car's audio system and controls.
|Type||Data and power connector|
The Apple dock connector is a proprietary 30-pin connector that was common to most Apple mobile devices (iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, 1st through 4th generation iPod Touch, iPad, iPad 2, and iPad (3rd generation)) from it's introduction with the 3rd generation iPod in 2003 until the Lightning connector was released in September 2012. Originally, the Apple dock connector carried USB, FireWire, some controls and line-level audio outputs. As the iPod changed, so did the signals in the dock connector. Video was added to the connector. FireWire was phased out of the iPods, which led to a discontinuity in usage of the dock connector.
As a result of the popularity of Apple's iPod and iPhone devices using the connector, a cottage industry was created of third-party devices that could connect to the interface.
Apple introduced a new 8-pin dock connector, named Lightning, on September 12, 2012. The iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, the fifth generation iPod Touch, seventh generation iPod Nano, all iPad minis, 4th generation iPad and iPad Air use the Lighting connector. Apple Lightning connector pins can be accessed from both sides of the connector allowing insertion with either side facing up. The Lightning connector replaced the 30-pin dock connector used by previous generations of iPods, iPhones, and iPads. Apple continues to sell the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S, with the 30 pin connector as of September 10, 2013.