Apple patents new connector with USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt

Speed increase may finally reduce iPod 'back up' time

And it might be smaller... get saving for a new iPod dock

Apple has filed a patent for a new form of iPod, iPad and iPhone dock connector that, if became a reality, would replace the 30-pin connector port that’s been used ever since the iDevice’s conception.

The new port, as detailed in the recent patent’s diagram, called a "Reduced Size Multi-Pin Male Plug Connector” would add USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt compatibility to the iPad, iPhone and iPod range, which would dramatically speed up the data transfer time between them and your computer. The result of this would be the end of that huge wait every time the iDevices back-up data to an iTunes account after updates.

The ‘reduced’ in that title has us wondering, though; will the new port and connector be smaller in size than the current breed? If so, it’ll mean that there’ll be an incompatibility issue for old docks and new iMachines, and vice-versa. If that’s the case, that BeoSound Dock you just shelled out for may soon be rendered obsolete.

What do you make of this design? Let us know on the T3 Twitter feed.