New iDevice Dock Connector Called ‘Lightning’, New Headphones Called ‘Earpods’, Brand New ‘Loop’ Accessory For iPod touch

The main focus of attention at today’s Apple media event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco is, without doubt, the next-generation iPhone. Fans have yearned for months for this day to arrive, and despite the anticipation regarding the fruit company’s smartphone, it’s by no means the only thing on show at the event.

Granted, it’s the most significant, but with a bunch of new iPods expected to be announced as well, 9to5Mac has got its hands on some information regarding some of the new accessories Apple will release with the refreshed product roster.

First and foremost, the 9-pin dock connector everyone’s been talking about will likely be called "Lightning," which is certainly in-keeping with the monikers of other Apple-specific ports, such as Thunderbolt and FireWire. It’s not definite Lightning will be the final name, but it is apparently what it’s being referred to internally as, and would certainly slot in nicely alongside the aforementioned Cupertino connectors.

The Lightning name also suggests we could be in for faster speeds than seen with the current connector. Most of the talk regarding the new port has been that it’s smaller, and packs in nine pins as opposed to thirty, but with the refreshed MacBooks offering USB 3.0, it may just be that transfer speeds to and from devices supporting this new connector cable will be faster. We certainly hope so.

Apple is also expected to announce some intriguing-looking revamped earbuds, which will purportedly be called “Earpods.” Expected to retail at the same price point as the current official Apple headphones ($29), they look like an aesthetic and ergonomic win, since the slick shape means they’ll look the part whilst staying in your ear better. Given the price of an individual purchase, expect the Earpods to come as standard with the iPhone 5, and new iPods.


9to5Mac cites a "high-profile U.S. retailer" in adding that the new iPod shuffle will keep its 2GB capacity, whilst offering 8 vibrant colors including pink, yellow, blue, green, purple, silver, ‘slate’ and red.

Some will likely complain at the lack of a higher-capacity shuffle, but I do believe it’s enough space to serve its purpose as a short-distance music player for the avid jogger, walker, and public transport user.

To conclude the accessory roundup, Apple will offer a new ‘Loop’ accessory for the new iPod touch, available in white and black, white and red, white and pink, white and yellow, and white and blue, while costing a mere $10. The 4th-gen iPod touch is expected to continue retailing for the time being, and although the price looks set to remain $199, the storage offering will double up to 16GB.

The accessories are likely to be available to order from Apple’s website straight after the announcement.

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