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Definition: Apple dock

An Apple 8-pin (Lightning) or 30-pin plug and cradle into which an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch is inserted to play music on externally powered speakers and/or to charge the unit. The dock is built into self-amplified music boxes, or it is connected via a USB cable to a computer, USB charger or home theater equipment. See Apple dock connector and Lightning connector.

Apple's Universal Dock
The dock provides a base station for connecting an iPod or iPhone to a computer or music system. Apple's tiny iPod Shuffle does not use a dock connector. (Image courtesy of Apple Inc.)

Directly into the Receiver
This iPod dock plugged directly into an Onkyo A/V receiver via a proprietary connector. The cradle (top) shows Apple's earlier 30-pin plug, which was superseded by the 8-pin Lightning. See Apple dock connector and Lightning connector.