Counterclockwise: extinct cable connectors for mobile phones

The “U” in USB stands for “widespread”. The port has sincerely lived as much as its name, it’s the default manner to deliver information and strength to digital gadgets. In fact, USB-C is just about the best port used on new Macs (aside from an ironic three.5mm headphone jack) and it’s truly the handiest port on the new iPad Pros.

The path to this high-quality land of “one port to rule all of them” is plagued by the remains of many proprietary standards. Today we’ll be looking at some of them.

Nokia Pop-Port

While it became formally standardized in 2002, Pop-Port like connectors has been on Nokia telephones considering the fact that around 1996. 1996 is coincidentally the yr that the USB popular changed into delivered.

The Pop-Port turned into a 14-pin connector. Two pins carried electricity, six pins treated analogue audio (stereo headphones + microphone, each getting a fantastic and negative cord). So away, not anything sudden.Image result for Counterclockwise: extinct cable connectors for mobile phones

But Pin #three was “Accessory Control Interface”, which allowed Nokia telephones to speak to positive “smart” add-ons. Pin #four furnished the strength for such add-ons. This enabled cool tech like this headset with an LCD that showed the currently playing music’s call. It was used to energy FM transmitters, connect to CarKit docks and more.

Today smart accessories are hiding in simple sight. For example, a USB-C to a few.5mm adapter generally has a small chip (powered by way of the port) that takes in digital audio and uses a DAC and amp to transform it into analogue audio. You’d assume it’s simpler to simply hold the jack.

Anyway, moving on to pins #6 and #7 of Pop-Port. In the earliest models, they formed an FBus connection – a Nokia-developed standard to transfer facts. These were later reused as the USB statistics pins.

Siemens Slim-Lumberg connector

Early Siemens telephones had a proprietary port just like the Nokia one (however without the catchy call). It carried strength and analogue audio and linked the smartphone to computers. In earlier fashions that turned into performed over a custom protocol, but was changed by means of USB connection as the usual became greater accepted.

The connector had more than one pins that enabled clever accessories as nicely. Not many were launched, however, the Siemens QuickPic digital camera add-on used that connector to switch snapshots to the phone.

Apple iPod Dock connector

Apple went overboard with the iPod Dock connector – with 30 pins this become a beast. Not glad to provide simply one alternative for each function, the adapter ought to do the equal aspect in numerous distinctive approaches.

For instance, it can output 3 kinds of analogue video: Composite, S-Video and Component. And as opposed to an unmarried mic, the connector had two line in pins so stereo microphones might be related.

A stereo mic that uses the 30-pin connector Card reader
The stereo mic that makes use of the 30-pin connector • Card reader

While USB became available sooner or later, there was FireWire too, the connection of preference for Macs. In fact, early iPods had FireWire port on them, the Dock connector became brought with the third-gen iPod.

FireWire become quicker than USB 2.Zero, so in case you needed to download pictures of a DV digicam and transfer it to an external pressure, FireWire was the way to head. Part of the magic changed into that the same old supported daisy-chaining. This suggests you can just hook up gadgets and no longer worry approximately hubs like with USB.

USB On The Go

USB hooked up a strict hierarchy of host and accessory. Usually, a computer becomes the host. But what in case you desired to connect a USB thumb power into a smartphone? Both devices were accessories, so nothing occurred.

USB On The Go (aka OTG) turned into added to permit telephones to paintings as hosts. Early on that required a micro-AB plug that became the dimensions of micro USB, however, had a square profile. With the right cable you could connect extra than flash storage, keyboard and mice laboured as nicely.

And telephones too, but that’s wherein matters got perplexing. If simplest one phone supported USB OTG matters laboured about 1/2 the time and you can browse the alternative cellphone’s garage. If each had OTG… Nicely, then the phase of the moon decided which cellphone did what.

On The Go, functionality remains gift on present-day phones, but the rectangular adapter turned into dropped. Support for accessories is quite awesome, e.G. You can hook up a USB Ethernet adapter and it simply works.

Even support for connecting phones together is improving. For example, that’s how Pixels switch your facts off your vintage smartphone.


Bluetooth does audio, Wi-Fi handles bulk facts transfers, Qi charges your phone. How long earlier than USB and wired connections as a whole die off? While today it’s flawlessly viable to live a wi-fi life-style, cables will constantly be quicker whether or not we’re talking charging or records transfers.

However, “true enough” is often sufficient to fulfil consumers. Despite the loud protests towards dropping the 3.5mm headphone jack, some of the best-promoting telephones don’t have it. USB have to sleep with one eye open.

PS. We want we ought to include micro USB on the listing of lifeless ports, however, it’s very lots alive despite years of USB-C being the port of choice.

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