iPod Dock Connector - The iPod Dock Connector is the interface used by most iPods, and all iPhones and iPads, to connect to computers and sync data back and forth, as well as charge the devices' batteries.
The Dock Connector is a small, rectangular slot on the bottom of the device into which the included syncing cable fits. It is also the interface used by many iPod, iPhone, and iPad peripherals, such as docks, car kits, and portable speakers.
The Dock Connector was created, in part, to simplify the iPod. Early versions of the iPod, which were only Mac-compatible, used Firewire interfaces. When Windows-compatible iPods were introduced, they had USB interfaces, with Firewire used for battery charging.
When Apple introduced the Dock Connector, it was able to reduce the number of ports on the bottom of the iPod to one and reduce the complexity and potential confusion of using the iPod. The first iPods that used the Dock Connector had both Firewire and USB cables. Later iPods only used USB.
Apple's Dock Connector is a proprietary design that only works with its products and compatible accessories.
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