Once again, leave it to Apple to throw existing standards out of the window by choosing to implement its own ports which attempt to combine two interfaces into a single “hybrid port”. And according to the latest patent awarded to the Cupertino giant, it seems that the next 'hybrid port' that is expected to debut on future Apple hardware will be capable of delivering both USB3.0 and DisplayPort signals.
Although USB3.0 and DisplayPort are interfaces which cater to very different needs, the basis for their design are completely identical; they are both standard interfaces which have been designed to facilitate the transfer of digital content from various electronic devices. And everybody knows how important standards are to our daily computing needs; that is the main reason we do not have to fiddle with cumbersome adaptors when it comes to dealing with various standard expansion and I/O ports found in our PCs today.
That being said, at least one OEM has a fond preference for doing everything its way and tossing out popular existing standards in the process, and it should come as no surprise that Apple is now attempting to do the same with USB3.0 and DisplayPort today. According to a patent which was only recently awarded to Apple, it seems that the Cupertino giant has plans to create an entirely new “hybrid port” which is reportedly capable of delivering both DisplayPort and USB3.0 signals in a single package.
Based on what we are able to understand from the patent filings, the hybrid port will feature a 30-pin connector, of which the various signal types each pin will transmit is shown in the patent illustration below.
Also, based on illustrations of the device's physical dimensions, it can be inferred that Apple might plan to implement this new hybrid port on mobile devices such as its line of iPods, iPhones and iPads first. This is due to the fact that the port's capability to deliver both USB3.0 and DisplayPort signals means that it greatly reduces the amount of space needed to feature dedicated ports for such highly mobile devices, where sufficient real estate for implementing additional I/O ports are a luxury. That being said, Apple does mention that the port may eventually find its way to desktop and notebook PCs.
Of course, with this being Apple we are talking about, it probably goes without saying that such an interface is going to be an Apple-exclusive, just like how the current line of iPods, iPads and iPhones all feature proprietary charging ports even though the micro-USB interface has already been recognized internationally as the standard port to be used for mobile devices.
Feel free to hit up on the source link for more information about the patent and its implementation.
Source: Patently Apple