A recently published patent shows that Apple has considered the possibility of using a Magsafe data cable for future iOS devices. It’s just a patent, so it could mean a number of things at this point.
This would replace the 30-pin connector we are accustomed to. The patent filed is named “Programmable Magnetic Connectors.” It uses magnets, just as the Magsafe power connectors do on Apple notebooks. Part of the idea behind it is that 30-pin connectors cannot be sealed properly, making them more prone to damage from moisture.
Here’s part of the report from AppleInsider:
In its application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple notes that current coupler designs, like with the 30-pin dock connector or headphone jack found on existing iPhones and iPads, prevent a device from being properly sealed. This is why the connector port and headphone jack feature water sensors, to determine if water entered the device through one of these openings.
It would be interesting to see how this affects third-party accessories, or if we find ourselves buying full new sets of chargers, etc.