Apple has been awarded a patent application for what looks like an improved version of the current Dock connector featured on all of Apple’s current iOS devices.
The patent win revealed by Patently Apple shows that Apple has won “a patent for an all-new Hybrid DisplayPort/USB 3.0 high speed connector.” The patent reveals that the connector would be used on iOS devices but also hints at spreading through all of Apple’s hardware.
Patently Apple covers the patent application in some detail, also offering some speculation about how Apple might use the connector and how it could change over time. In particular the patent details a number of different connector configurations; “connectors 300 and 350 could provide support for USB 3.0 (USB3) and legacy USB 2.0 (USB2). In one embodiment, the connectors include two USB2 contacts, four USB3 contacts, and a USB power and a ground contact.”
Apple also outlines how the new Dock connector will have a reduced height design by removing a number of elements featured in the current Dock connector design.
The patent which was originally filed in late 2008 does not mention Apple’s new Thunderbolt technology which debuted earlier this year in Apple’s MacBook Pro models.