iPod nano stock shortages across US retail seem to point at upcoming refresh

We reported last week that a German parts catalog ran out of current-model iPod nanos from Apple and told its customers to wait for refreshed models in late September. That is, of course, the rumored time frame of Apple’s next iPhone announcement and launch.

iPod nanos are more than overdue for a refresh and we are thinking —with Apple moving away from its 30-pin dock connector— that is at least one bit that needs an update. Other rumors pointed to Bluetooth connectivity, as it could extend the usefulness of the iPod nano greatly and make a more interesting iWatch-type product.

Today, we have seen stock shortages also hit Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Bust Buy—the four biggest electronics retailers in the United States.

Amazon is out of stock for about half of its iPod nano models:

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While Best Buy is a hit-or-miss for online deliveries, iPad nanos that are not available for delivery are still available in some stores (but are very spotty for the most part)… Read more

Photos of purported next-generation iPhone’s smaller dock port surface

Update: The original source, Nowherelse, posted an update with new information regarding the leaked dock connector images claiming the connector has 16 pins, eight on each side, with eight likely being reserved for future uses:

We have obtained new information about this connector. We have indeed learned that it is not equipped with 8 to 16 pins but distinct functions or 8 on each side thereof to note that one of them would have no basis of record and would be for possible future use.

There has been a ton of alleged next-gen iPhone leaks in recent weeks including images of the device’s thinner, higher capacity 1440 mAh battery, SIM card tray, and other internal components. Today, we get a look at parts related to the smaller, redesigned dock connector, as well as what French site Nowherelse.fr claimed could possibly be the first images of the connector itself. In our own image above, we see an insert component for the new iPhone on the right showing the outline of the new iPhone’s dock connector. The unconfirmed images from Nowherelse below show what appears to be an 8-pin dock connector next to the USB end for context. We recently discovered possible references to a 9-pin dock connector in iOS 6, while previous reports claimed a 19-pin or 8-pin design was in the works. While our leak of the next-gen iPhone backs in May gave us a good look at the port for the redesigned dock connector, the pin layout for the connector itself is still unconfirmed.

Update: iFixit told MacRumors that the metal frame counts as its own pin even though there are eight gold pins. This adds up to nine pins, as we reported the other day based on iOS 6 source code, and this may mean these above photos are legitimate.

Also: We cannot help but notice that these connectors seem to have similar pins and size to MicroSD cards (image via).

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iOS 6 points to new 9-pin connector: is this the new, smaller dock port?

At this point, it seems highly likely that the next-generation of Apple’s iOS devices will carry smaller dock connectors. That new hardware feature has been reported by multiple sources. However, the exact size and amount of pins has been up in the air. TechCrunch said that they confirmed the new connector to be 19 pins, while iLounge recently reported that the connector will be only 8 pins.

However, today, we discovered a possible reference to a 9-pin dock connector in the iOS 6 beta. The reference comes as a new iOS hardware feature called “9Pin,” so we’re assuming this has to do with the dock connector. Obviously, there is no way to be 100% about this.

In fact, it appears that the reference has been present since beta 1. This reference comes in a part of the operating system that details general hardware features in iOS devices. That mean this new 9-pin connector may not only be implemented into the iPhone. This lines up with iMore‘s report that Apple will update all of its iOS devices in September to support the new connector.

The new connector will make an impact on the cases and accessory industry, but it will allow Apple to squeeze in new technologies into its future devices. Of course, this is only a single iOS-based reference, and Apple’s plans for pin-formations could change at any time. Thanks, Hamza!

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Asian supplier jury-rigs a next gen iPhone to show off their cases

Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz asks a question that he already knows is false: Has the iPhone 5 Been Smuggled Out of the Factory Already?

No, it has not. But these manufacturer pages show what a beat up, falling apart next-gen iPhone with slightly off-white components would look like in a cheap case.

Does not make as sexy of a title though, does it?

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Report: Apple to sell 30-pin adapter for new iPhone’s smaller 19-pin dock connector

According to a report from iMore’s Rene Ritchie, Apple plans to release an adapter alongside the new iPhone that will allow users to connect accessories using the old 30-pin dock connector to the device’s new 19-pin connector:

iMore reached out to the original sources that gave us the new Dock connector story way back in February just to make doubly sure — and yes, there will be an adapter for the iPhone 5’s smaller Dock connector that will let it work with many of the accessories designed for the old 30-pin Dock connector.

The report noted there is no word on whether Apple plans to include the adapter in the box with the new iPhone or make it a separate purchase. Earlier today, a report from Reuters backed up the rumors and earlier reports that Apple plans to include the smaller, 19-pin dock connector on the new iPhone expected to launch in October. iMore originally reported the new iPhone would include the smaller connector in February, and several reports since followed up with similar predictions.

In May, we posted images of the next-gen iPhone‘s metal back (above) that clearly show the smaller connector.

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More next-gen iPhone casings float across our desktop [Photos]

9to5Mac first posted the back and front plates for what is now thought to be the next-generation iPhone in May, and then we immediately published several more high-resolution images comparing the black and white versions of the next-generation iPhone’s back. Since then, many more casings and schematics have shown up with the same design.  It is not clear if these are all coming out of the Foxconn plant or if these are all copycats of the original leaks.

Today, KitGuru offers a few more “early iPhone” images that it recently spotted. A slew of full length, side view, comparison, and connector shots are available below—check ‘em out:

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Apple’s rumored iOS device inductive charging solution gets pictured in patents

Another batch of newly granted Apple patents were published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and then detailed by Patently Apple. Perhaps the most notable is one for an inductive charging solution that we have heard about in the past. Apple patents surfaced last year showing new methods of inductive charging that could be used in various Apple devices. There were even rumors last year that a next-gen iPhone could sport a similar cable-free charging solution. Patently Apple described the docking station invention covered in today’s patent that would include an “eradiating antenna and an inductive charging circuit for inductively charging a handheld device”:

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3D renders of next iPhone parts good enough to fool many

The 3D renders above, which were posted by Flickr user Martin uit Utrecht, are modeled in Rhinoceros 3D. They were deemed good enough that numerous websites published them, assuming they were real shots of the next-generation iPhone. As noted by the poster, the renderings are based on leaked photos and video of what most believe to be the next-generation iPhone’s metal back. The models also have other elements present in the leaked casings, including: a smaller dock connector, redesigned speaker grills, and a repositioned headphone jack.

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Next-gen iPhone schematic shows 4-inch display, repositioned FaceTime camera

We posted high-resolution images of both the black and white versions of the next-generation iPhone back plate yesterday. Although we could determine many new features of the device, such as the redesigned speaker grills, repositioned earphone jack, and FaceTime camera, the exact display dimensions are still unknown. We noted one of our images depicted what appears to be the next-generation iPhone front glass with enough room for the much-rumored, roughly 4-inch display, but new schematics surfaced today (via Cydia Blog) that show a diagonal opening of just slightly over 4-inches. The designs also shows the repositioned FaceTime camera above the earpiece.

Although calculations of the display show an opening less than 0.1-inch over 4-inches, the display could likely measure a flat 4-inches diagonally as the front panel is typically slightly larger than the display. We noted yesterday that our sources informed us that the next-generation iPhone front glass images we posted feature the same width of the current iPhones, which would comfortably allow for an approximate 16:9 aspect ratio. We cannot confirm the schematic is 100 percent legit, or not just a past prototype, but also all the recent evidence points to a 4-inch next-generation iPhone that we expect to see this October.

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Prototype iPad with landscape dock connector surfaces in eBay listing

As noted by MacRumorsan eBay listing popped up today showing what appears to be a prototype 16GB iPad with two dock connectors. The iPad has always included the same, single dock connector that allows docking in portrait orientation, but the prototype in the listing shows a second dock connector that would allow for docking in landscape view.

We heard rumors several times as far back as the original iPad launch that Apple was working to add a second dock connector. The rumors were supported by several patents that surfaced. They detailed possible advancements Apple could make to its dock connectors on iOS devices. As pointed out by the report, the prototype in the eBay listing does not actually have any iPad trademarks, but just a prototype ID number instead. Otherwise, it appears to be genuine with components carrying “part numbers and copyright dates from prior to original iPad’s components.”

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Report: New thinner iPhone will have longer 4 inch screen, metallic backside and small round dock connector

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Earlier this year, leading up to the new iPad launch, iLounge editor Jeremy Horwitz claimed to have held the new device, and then he reported a few of the features that would ultimately launch with the third-gen iPad in March (and some that would not). Today, Horwitz claimed to have new details on the next-generation iPhone. He reported the device would sport a longer 4-inch screen, metallic backside, and smaller and rounded dock connector.

The majority of Horwitz’s specs mirror our report from March 2011 about the iPhone 5 prototypes spotted with metal backs, larger displays, and the overall iPhone 4 design.

The first of his claims: As rumored, the new iPhone will be “longer and thinner” than iPhone 4 and 4S, and it will sport the following changes to its physical design:

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Apple unveils micro USB adapter for iPhones in Europe

It’s been long time coming and it’s finally here. The U.K. online Apple Store now lists the Apple iPhone Micro USB Adapter, available for £8.00 and shipping October 14. From Apple:

The Apple iPhone Micro USB Adapter allows you to use third-party micro USB cables and chargers to sync or charge your iPhone. Simply connect your iPhone to the Micro USB Adapter, then connect a micro USB cable or charger to the Micro USB Adapter

Standards bodies in Europe had agreed last year that all mobile phones sold in Europe should drop proprietary connectors in favor of standard USB jacks. Apple’s been ignoring the initiative up to the point when some watchers questioned whether the European Union should fine the Cupertino, California-based gadget maker.

As it turns out, Apple has elegantly addressed those concerns with this dongle. What it does for Apple is it lets them follow the letter of the law without redesigning the iPhone or, worse, risk incompatibility problems with a billion dollar ecosystem of accessories that take advantage of Apple’s 30-pin dock connector.

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