Outraged iPhone owners are flocking online to flog Apple over reports that the company's next-generation smartphone could render all current accessories obsolete, The Daily Mail has reported.
Bloggers have been posting reports and photos claiming that Apple has decided to radically alter the size of the connector in the next iPhone, which is expected to be launched in October.
Speakers, docks and other expensive accessories costing hundreds of dollars would be rendered useless by the move, along with cheaper add-ons such as chargers. Even cars with the current connector built in would need to be upgraded.
The Daily Mail on Thursday said technology blog TechCrunch confirmed the change by speaking with three separate manufacturers, although Apple has not commented on the plan.
Current iPhones, and all previous models, have used a 30-pin connector for power and to plug in accessories.
However, reports claim the next iPhone will use a smaller 19-pin version, rendering all current accessories useless.
Leaked pictures claiming to be the new handset also show a smaller, rounder connector.
Some reports claim the new connector will allow a smaller, thinner iPhone to be made, while others say it could lead to a cable attached by magnets.
According to blogger Robert Scoble, the move will allow Apple tighter control over accessory makers.
Another blogger quoted by the Daily Mail, Sirio Brozzi of the website Awesome Robo, ranted: “People are stunned by this possibility, myself included. I mean, why fix something that's not broken?”
“Have you guys ever heard of 'planned obsolescence'?” he added. “It's a practice which encourages planning and designing a product so it's only useful for a limited time, before becoming obsolete.”
Along with a change in its dock connector, the iPhone 5 has also been rumored to be receiving a newly designed speaker grill, a different back cover and antenna molded into one piece.
However, some believe Apple could – at a price – supply adapters to allow older accessories to work with the new handsets, The Daily Mail reported.
The new iPhone is also expected to have a larger four-inch screen using Apple's retina display, which uses individual pixels so small the human eye cannot see them, making on-screen text appear like a printed page, and allowing graphics and video to be shown at resolutions higher than a high-definition TV.
It will also include Apple's own map software, which the company revealed a few weeks ago in a bid to compete with Google's maps. Apple even revealed it has a fleet of planes photographing the world to build up a 3D map. (mtq)