With the appearance of the next iPhone (News - Alert) slated to hit soon, fresh information has recently landed surrounding some new name changes to some old hardware, as well as some updates about changes to the hardware a little more substantial than issues of nomenclature. Word landed late last night, and is expected to be confirmed by Apple (News - Alert) directly.
First of the new hardware reports, the new, smaller dock connector, the nine-pin version that was slated to replace the 30-pin version seems to be a reality, and internally, they're calling it "Lightning". The reason for this is suggested to be that it goes along with Thunderbolt, but also, that it's set to be a faster connection to sync via a computer than the previous version. Current word says these will sell for around $20, though earlier reports suggested $10.
Next came word of a new set of earbud headphones that Apple called "Earpods". The Earpods look similar to standard earbud headphones, except they're a bit more bulbous and slightly more elongated. The result is improved acoustics, and a better likelihood that they'll stay inside a user's ears if they rapidly turn their heads. They are expected to retail at the same price as a standard set of Apple earbud headphones--$29--though no one's quite sure, as yet, if they'll come included with new Apple hardware like the current models do.
Additionally, the fourth generation iPod Touch is set to still be around, though it's getting an upgrade in storage capacity from eight gigabytes to 16, and remains at the $199 price. A new iPod Shuffle is also set to emerge, though it will remain at two gigabytes in storage and offer a choice of among eight colors. There is also word about a new "Loop" accessory for the iPod Touch, which will come in several different colors, though the exact function of the device is somewhat unclear.
A lot of news has emerged here, and though only time will tell just which parts of it actually come to pass and which parts prove to be Apple sources who don't quite get it right, it's always worth considering. Apple as a company has made an art form out of shaking up design envelopes, so all but the most outlandish rumors make at least a note of sense when they're first announced. It's worth keeping an eye on all the same, and we should finally see just what turns out right soon.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman