Apple Granted Patent for Headphone Jack and Plug With Reduced Length and Thickness

Apple Granted Patent for Headphone Jack and Plug With Reduced Length and Thickness

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Apple has been granted a patent for a new headphone jack and connector plug with a reduced length and thickness.

The company notes that the diameter and length of current 3.5 mm and even 2.5 mm audio connectors are limiting factors in making such devices smaller, thinner and allowing the displays to be larger.

It filed a patent for a 'D-shaped connector' that discloses an audio connector plug and jack that can be used in place of the a standard low profile plug. The connector plug has a reduced plug length and thickness, an intuitive insertion orientation and a smooth, consistent feel when inserted and extracted from its corresponding receptacle connector. A portion or all of the plug connector may include a flexible material that allows the connector to bend with respect to an insertion axis along which the plug connector is designed to be inserted into a corresponding receptacle connector. A corresponding connector jack may be configured to receive the reduced length and thickness connector plug.

In one embodiment, a plug connector according to the present invention includes a shell and a sleeve coupled to the shell at its base and having a D-shaped cross section. The sleeve has a ground contact at its distal tip, a plurality of contacts are arranged around a periphery of the sleeve and a plurality of dielectric strips that electrically isolate the plurality of contacts from each other. An insulation ring is positioned between the distal tip and the plurality of contacts and each of the plurality of contacts and plurality of dielectric strips extend from the insulation ring to the shell.

Take a look at the images below for a better idea of what the connector would look like.

[via PatentlyApple]


Apple Granted Patent for Headphone Jack and Plug With Reduced Length and Thickness

Apple Granted Patent for Headphone Jack and Plug With Reduced Length and Thickness

Apple Granted Patent for Headphone Jack and Plug With Reduced Length and Thickness
TechnoGeek - September 26, 2015 at 5:53pm
I like it, finally someone finally decided to not allow the cable to twist and with the cable quality very little wear versus them old style jack and plug. It's a solid design.
HmHm - September 23, 2015 at 2:54pm
This is dumbest thing heard in a long time. Hope this is the beginning of the end.
Suffu - September 23, 2015 at 8:27am
I don't get it... Apple is working so hard to make lightning and USB-C cables reversible, and now it comes up with a patent for headphone jack to just fit in one direction????????
King Rollo - September 23, 2015 at 6:59am
The reason why it is round is so the cable can twist. Making it and shape means I can't move... So the cable will wear instead
Julian Cordero - September 23, 2015 at 2:59am
This decision by Apple could impact millions of company and people. First, comapnies making headphones are going to be forced to either license or buy Apple headphone connector plugs or essentially loose out on the apple market share - which has been very influential on the growth of headphone companies as most people use smartphones as their music players. Second, because these companeis are going to be forced to license or buy this Apple headphone plug, they are probably going to be passing along the price increase to the customer becuase of the smaller margins of profit they will now have after taking on this cost. I wrote an article about this, feel free to check this out at: http://www.mycorderolaw.com/blog/2015/9/22/apples-new-headphone-plug-and-the-problems-it-just-created
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