Apple Lightning Connector: When Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) rolled out Lightning along with the iPhone 5 late last year, many people didn’t really understand what it had to offer. Sure, it was a smaller 9-pin dock connector, as opposed to the 30-pin connector it replaced, but this didn’t really mean much to people.
For those who are interested in learning more about the design, it is time to check out this patent application from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL):
Sounds complicated, right? While you may not be able to understand everything that the design brings to the table, the patent can help clear things up just a bit.
Here is the abstract:
“A dual orientation connector having a connector tab with first and second major opposing sides and a plurality of electrical contacts carried by the connector tab. The plurality of contacts includes a first set of external contacts formed at the first major side and a second set of external contacts formed at the second major side. Each individual contact in the first plurality of contacts is electrically connected within the tab or body to a corresponding contact in the second plurality of contacts. In some embodiments contacts in the first and second pluralities of contacts that are directly opposite each other are coupled together. In some other embodiments, contacts in the first and second pluralities of contacts that are in a cater cornered relationship with each other are coupled together. The first plurality of contacts are symmetrically spaced with the second plurality of contacts and the connector tab is shaped to have 180 degree symmetry so that it can be inserted and operatively coupled to a corresponding receptacle connector in either of two insertion orientations.”
With all that in mind, let’s try to dive deeper for what Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was trying to accomplish. In short, the company was looking to improve upon connectors that have been used in the industry for so long, such as the long-standing USB and 3.5mm jack.
It goes without saying that this feature has worked out well on the iPhone, thanks to its small size that loses nothing in terms of performance.
There are a lot of Apple patents that we never see in real life. This is not one of them. Instead, this Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) patent filing pertains to the current generation iPhone.
The patent was filed for on November 16, 2012. The inventors are listed as Albert Golko, Eric Jol, Mathias Schmidt, and Jeffrey Terlizzi.
If you want to take a closer look at what this Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) feature looks like, from the official patent, check out the image on the next page: