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Iphone Apple

Apple Now Shipping Lightning To 30-Pin Adapters 173

Posted by samzenpus
from the here-they-come dept.
hcs_$reboot writes "Apple has started shipping the iPhone 5 Lightning connector to 30-pin adapters. Some iPhone 5 owners complained about its new connector being incompatible with the previously well known 30 pin connectors (iPhone 4S and before, iPod, iPad, and chargers). From the article: 'Apple's accessories page shows the adapter as available to ship in October, while one MacRumors reader said the e-mail notice pointed to a delivery day of October 9.'"
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Apple Now Shipping Lightning To 30-Pin Adapters

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  • Lockin (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mikkeles (698461) on Monday October 08, 2012 @10:31AM (#41585777)

    Well, that's one way to make money - gratuitous changes which you charge to fix.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Brad1138 (590148)
      Why the hell couldn't they go with Micro-USB like everyone else?
      • Re:Lockin (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 08, 2012 @10:36AM (#41585871)

        Because that is not proprietary and cannot be used to extract license fees from accessory makers

      • Re:Lockin (Score:4, Funny)

        by errxn (108621) on Monday October 08, 2012 @10:38AM (#41585897) Homepage Journal

        I'm $ure there'$ a perfectly good rea$on for them not to u$e a $tandard U$B connector format, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it i$. Anybody?

        • by sjbe (173966) on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:44AM (#41586873)

          I'm $ure there'$ a perfectly good rea$on for them not to u$e a $tandard U$B connector format, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it i$. Anybody?

          The real advantages to mini and micro-USB is that they are pretty much ubiquitous and relatively cheap - which are some big advantages. However the various USB connectors are kind of a crappy connectors from a mechanical standpoint. It is keyed in such a way that it isn't immediately obvious which way is the correct way to insert it without looking carefully or by trial and error. Also the mini and micro USB connectors themselves tend to be rather poorly made and need lots of external structural support. I've broken several and I'm not hard on my gear. My company manufactures some products that use them and IMO they aren't well designed mechanically. I don't love the lightning connector but from a pure mechanical design standpoint the lightning connector is better. Electrically and financially and socially I see no advantage to the new connector to most of us.

          • by admdrew (782761)

            I've purchased shittily made 3rd party micro-USB adapters (usually car chargers, or those 'universal' charge kits), but the stock ones that come with phones (I've had Motorola, HTC, and Samsung) have been very well built. I never really had trouble with orientation when plugging in, but I understand how that can be an issue.

            I feel for my iPhone-owning friends, the new adapter thing is ridiculous. I fully love taking advantage of being able to charge my phone just about wherever I go, since a lot of people I

            • by Tarlus (1000874)

              Not only that, but micro USB chargers are so common and inexpensive that you could pick one up at a gas station for like $5 if needed.

          • by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Monday October 08, 2012 @02:10PM (#41589099)

            I am very hard on my gear - my Droid X I dropped 6-7 times (twice in the water) never once did that Micro-USB connector ever fail to work properly. When I got rid of the phone it was covered in scratches and chips.

            My GF's iPhone however - the connector housing developed a crack and began to fall apart.

            I don't buy that Micro-USB is flimsy.

            • by sjbe (173966)

              I don't buy that Micro-USB is flimsy.

              Then don't buy it. However I run a company that builds the things. I'm not talking about 10 of them or personal experience, I'm talking about my experience with thousands of them. The socket end of the connection is usually the more problematic end in my experience. The ones we deal with require significant potting or other packaging to be robust. Insertions are typically a bit on the finicky side and we've seen more than a few snapped plug ends. It isn't a horrible connector but it could have been a

          • by cHiphead (17854)

            I've had several Apple connectors fail over the years, never had a mini-USB connector break and only had 1 micro-USB connector bend but not break. I do feel like the house of micro-USB is weaker compared to mini-USB but have not had much in the way of real world issues with either of the connector types.

            • by Nerdfest (867930)

              If Apple was remotely interested in sturdy connectors they'd put a proper strain relief on the cables they sell. This is all about lock-in and licencing.

            • by sjbe (173966)

              I've had several Apple connectors fail over the years, never had a mini-USB connector break

              The old Apple connector is FAR more complicated than the mini and micro USB as well as lightning. Tons of pins, lots of wires, tight spacing. Hardly a wonder that they break. Lighting should be a big improvement. I'm not sure it was really necessary since micro-usb could have done the job just fine but it is nice mechanically.

          • by CODiNE (27417)

            There is one other reason I haven't seen discussed for Apple switching connectors.

            Perhaps it's scorched-earth damage they're doing to hurt Samsung who's already copied the dock connector.

        • Re:Lockin (Score:5, Funny)

          by gman003 (1693318) on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:47AM (#41586933)

          Man, we could really use a lowercase $ for posts like that...

        • by shmlco (594907)

          Umm... how about because they use the same connector for the iPhone and the iPad, and micro-USB isn't rated to carry the amount of power needed to rapidly recharge an iPad?

          Or because the current micro-USB connector is tied to USB 2.0, and if they used it they'd be faced with changing it yet again in the very near future to support higher transfer speeds. (Read USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt.) Lightning uses active signaling to indicate the type of cable and device.

          Or because the Lightning connector allows an iPhon

      • Massive missed opportunity... if Apple had gone for USB on the iPhone 5, it would have escaped the "minor upgrade" zone. Ah well, Cook is an operations guy, not a visionary. A bit late now.

      • by swb (14022) on Monday October 08, 2012 @10:51AM (#41586105)

        I own a bunch of micro-USB devices and I think that connector blows, at least mechanically. It's keyed, so it requires a specific orientation, and it's small so it's hard to differentiate the orientation, especially once presbyopia sets in.

        The lightning connector has no specific orientation and I find it much easier to connect, especially in the dark.

        The jury's out on whether or not there's any technical advantage to lightning over micro-USB as a connector or connector protocol. I'm in the camp that says 30 pin had to go and lightning is a welcome change, but even as an iPhone fan I'm not convinced there isn't some profit motive behind all of this, especially all the restrictions and apparent secrecy surrounding the device and adapters.

        • by nurb432 (527695)

          Like when a simple OS version change now made all my existing cables and most of my 3rd party dock accessories "not compatible with this device".

          They worked the day before..

          Thankfully we have 're-supported' but i shouldn't have had to jailbreak my iPhone to use what i was using just fine the day before.

          No greed here. Grumble.

          • WTF, seriously? When did this happen?

            • by nurb432 (527695)

              Cant tell you for sure now as i didn't use my devices all the time, but i think it was like 4.0 to 4.1. They killed off a video cable i had and a portable speaker system.

              Check out "re-supported" in the cydia market. It was the main reason i jail-broke my old 3gs back then, so i could buy that.

        • I own a bunch of micro-USB devices and I think that connector blows, at least mechanically. It's keyed, so it requires a specific orientation, and it's small so it's hard to differentiate the orientation, especially once presbyopia sets in.

          If this was the reason then Apple should have proposed an alternate USB connecter instead of an entirely incompatible signalling scheme. It worked for nano-SIM didn't it? Not that I think either is a good idea. Resizing the SIM saved hardly any space at all and any departure from USB standards means sometimes not having access to power, or USB connectivity when you need it.

        • by srussia (884021)

          The lightning connector has no specific orientation and I find it much easier to connect, especially in the dark.

          You must be fun at "parties" (wink, wink)!

      • Re:Lockin (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Monday October 08, 2012 @10:53AM (#41586119)
        Everyone here is talking about licence fees, but I don't think that's it. I think they want to maintain segregation of the accessories market. The iPhone is a very expensive phone, even for it's (quite impressive) specifications - success depends upon being seen not just as 'another phone' to compete with all those much cheaper models by other manufacturers, but as a whole class in itsself. A distinction much easier to maintain if the iPhone can't even plug into accessories made for 'common' brands, and vice versa. The last thing Apple wants is for their customers to realise that a high-end android phone can do very nearly everything an iPhone can, but at less than half the price.
        • Well, if that was the case, Apple should have rigged it so it can only charge on 400 Hz AC, like you seen in aircraft. Now that would be exclusive.

        • by ganjadude (952775)
          MORE than an apple phone, if we are talking about the s3 and others in the pipeline....
        • by shmlco (594907)

          Guess Tim Cook shouldn't have mentioned that the preferred way to connect to third-party speakers and other devices is Bluetooth.

          Assuming, of course, you can find low-powered Bluetooth 4 devices out there....

        • The iPhone is a very expensive phone

          Off-contract, the iPhone 4 is the same price as the Galaxy SII, and the iPhone 4S is not a lot more than the SIII. Granted the iPhone 5 is about GBP 150 more though, but until that was released they were about the same price as Samsung's competition.

          Example [orange.co.uk]

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Revotron (1115029)
        Because the MicroUSB connectors are ridiculously flimsy and prone to failure by mechanical stress?

        Seriously, they are. I've gone through a handful of MicroUSB phone chargers trying to find the one that fits just right in my Android phone with a MicroUSB charging port. Bump the phone ever so slightly and the battery stops charging. And before you say "get a new phone", it's happened before on other phones. It does this because MicroUSB is terribly designed and terribly built. Maybe Apple wanted someth
        • Oddly enough, Micro-USB was specifically designed with the exact complaint you have in mind. While it is smaller than the Mini-USB it replaced, that was secondary to its main purpose, which was to improve durability. Not only is it supposed to be more durable in terms of the number of times it can be inserted/removed, but it is also designed such that, when it fails, the (most likely cheaper) cord will be the part to break rather than the (most likely more expensive) device. I'd cite a source but I can't

          • Oddly enough, Micro-USB was specifically designed with the exact complaint you have in mind. While it is smaller than the Mini-USB it replaced, that was secondary to its main purpose, which was to improve durability. Not only is it supposed to be more durable in terms of the number of times it can be inserted/removed, but it is also designed such that, when it fails, the (most likely cheaper) cord will be the part to break rather than the (most likely more expensive) device. I'd cite a source but I can't pick which one - look up any documentation on Micro-USB and you'll read the same thing.

            For what it is worth, in my personal experience, I have not seen any such issues with Micro-USB. The only times I can recall in which I've seen them fail have been because the cord itself - well away from the connector - was damaged, such as by a wheeled chair rolling over them. However, I have seen a number of the just replaced Apple connectors causing issues. For example, this summer, I've seen an iPod where the connection on the device - not the cord - was bent to one side so that the cord-side connector would not fit in. Mind you this wasn't so terrible - I repaired it with a thin knife and a careful hand - but still, in my personal experience, the old Apple connector has a significantly worse record than the Micro-USB.

            I've had a 50% failure rate on device manufacturer supplied micro-USB ports. I think that micro-USB failed to meet its design goal of durability. Mini-USB, supposedly expected to fail in many fewer plug/unplug cycles than micro-USB, has 0% failure rate in my experience. My sample size for micro-USB is approaching 20 and mini-USB is around 40. I suspect that the performance testing done on USB connectors must be robot-run perfectly aligned plug/unplug cycling rather than real world plugging things in whi

          • Oddly enough, Micro-USB was specifically designed with the exact complaint you have in mind. While it is smaller than the Mini-USB it replaced, that was secondary to its main purpose, which was to improve durability

            If that is true, they failed in my opinion. I'm looking at a broken female surface mount Micro-usb connector as I type this. Thin gauge metal, poor strain relief, finicky to insert and basically requires significant structural reinforcement for real world use. I say this as someone who manufactures electrical harnesses for a living. Furthermore I very much dislike the fact that it has a keyed insertion. They easily could have made it key-less with a few more terminals. It was designed to be cheap to m

            • by norpy (1277318)

              I used to write software for a major mobile phone manufacturer, and had access to dozens of prototype handsets, Guess which prototypes were the ones with broken USB ports that we'd have to open up and solder new sockets onto?
              Micro USB is terrible and i'm glad apple aren't using it. In fact the first time i plugged a cable into one my first thought was about how flimsy the socket was and sure enough after a few weeks of constant use they break, i'm sure it had a lot to do with having to hold the phon

        • by sjames (1099)

          Either the socket was crap or you enjoy swinging your phone overhead by the USB cable. The micro USB connector on my Android is quite solid. It has never lost contact due to being bumped.

        • by guruevi (827432)

          I have seen the same problem on various Androids and other devices. I think the problem is that Mini and even Micro-USB has simply too long and too fine of a connector so it basically becomes a blunt knife when the device drops. Also, they're usually soldered directly onto a PCB where the solder or PCB cracks or comes loose, some people have been known to fix their bad connections by simply reheating the connector with a soldering iron so the cracked solder re-flows onto the PCB.

          On the other hand, micro-USB

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jo_ham (604554)

        Why the hell couldn't they go with Micro-USB like everyone else?

        Because MicroUSB is a terrible connector. They already had a proprietary connector and just swapped it for another type with the function they wanted.

        I know MicroUSB has features that allow it to adapt and output HDMI, or analog audio etc, but Apple wanted a more adaptable (although obviously proprietary) connector. I'm going to assume that one of the biggest points on the checklist was "support for more current and/or voltage than USB" since the connector is designed for all iOS devices and the current gen

        • Re:Lockin (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Sarten-X (1102295) on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:15AM (#41586437) Homepage

          At first, I was annoyed at the new connector (though I doubt I'll have any need to use it for a while, and when I do, I have practically no accessories to replace). It seemed to be a remarkable waste of engineering for something that could have just been standardized.

          Now that I know more about the connector, I'm genuinely hoping that Apple miraculously opens up to the world and Lightning becomes the new standard. It's reversible, adaptable, sturdy (at least it appears to be), and smaller than the 30-pin connector. iFixit had an interesting perspective (that I'm too lazy to look up) that the smaller connector allowed more components to fit in the bottom of the new and slimmer iPhone.

          I like the idea of adaptable connectors. Not just where you ground a certain pin to toggle the function of another pin, but where the cable and device actively communicate to negotiate what features are available on what pins.

          Since my dream of Apple playing nice with others is probably impossible, are there any other well-defined connectors (preferably without patents) out there that offer the same (or even similar) amounts of adaptability?

          • by oji-sama (1151023)

            I like the idea of adaptable connectors. Not just where you ground a certain pin to toggle the function of another pin, but where the cable and device actively communicate to negotiate what features are available on what pins.

            I like the adaptable connector idea as well. But why does the cable do the negotiating and not the connected device? More than likely the device and the phone will still have to negotiate if just to ensure that the device is in fact a working one.

        • by teg (97890)

          Because MicroUSB is a terrible connector. They already had a proprietary connector and just swapped it for another type with the function they wanted.

          I know MicroUSB has features that allow it to adapt and output HDMI, or analog audio etc, but Apple wanted a more adaptable (although obviously proprietary) connector.

          Does MicroUSB allow this? I thought MicroUSB only handled USB data transfers, if it can handle more that would be very useful... and it also affects the reason I believe Apple chose another connector: It does many other things, like video and audio.

          • by teg (97890)

            Because MicroUSB is a terrible connector. They already had a proprietary connector and just swapped it for another type with the function they wanted.

            I know MicroUSB has features that allow it to adapt and output HDMI, or analog audio etc, but Apple wanted a more adaptable (although obviously proprietary) connector.

            Does MicroUSB allow this? I thought MicroUSB only handled USB data transfers, if it can handle more that would be very useful... and it also affects the reason I believe Apple chose another connector: It does many other things, like video and audio.

            Found it myself - MHDL [wikipedia.org].

          • by jo_ham (604554)

            Because MicroUSB is a terrible connector. They already had a proprietary connector and just swapped it for another type with the function they wanted.

            I know MicroUSB has features that allow it to adapt and output HDMI, or analog audio etc, but Apple wanted a more adaptable (although obviously proprietary) connector.

            Does MicroUSB allow this? I thought MicroUSB only handled USB data transfers, if it can handle more that would be very useful... and it also affects the reason I believe Apple chose another connector: It does many other things, like video and audio.

            Yes it does - I was also under the impression that it couldn't do more than USB but someone else posted a link to MHL which is a standard on some Android and other handsets that can reassign the pins to enable HDMI and other protocols with the right cables and adapters.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_High-Definition_Link [wikipedia.org]

            The physical port itself is just not very nice though, and when going for a huge change they might as well go for something that has good physical characteristics.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          I know MicroUSB has features that allow it to adapt and output HDMI, or analog audio etc, but Apple wanted a more adaptable (although obviously proprietary) connector.

          Interestingly Samsung also wanted a more adaptable connector for the Galaxy S3, so they developed a MicroUSB compatible socket with more pins. You can connect a standard MicroUSB cable, but they can also make proprietary connectors supporting other functions, just like Apple's Lightning connector.

          I'm going to assume that one of the biggest points on the checklist was "support for more current and/or voltage than USB" since the connector is designed for all iOS devices and the current generation iPad is already struggling with the meagre amount they can push over USB (even when already exceeding the original 500 mA limit).

          Standard MicroUSB supports up to 1.8A, but you can in fact easily push more than that over it with a slightly uprated connector. Charging current is a complete non-issue.

      • Why the hell couldn't they go with Micro-USB like everyone else?

        Because they wanted to offer more functionality. For example, the Lightning / 30 pin adaptor has an audio DAC in it, to drive line level. You can argue that if they couldn't preserve this DAC internally, they shouldn't have made the iPhone so small, but wanting to enable extra functionality by having a very flexible I/O scheme, while making the phone very small, seems like a reasonable engineering tradeoff, to me.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Why the hell couldn't they go with Micro-USB like everyone else?

        Great for data, poor for everything else.

        First, if you want A/V out, your only option is MHL. If you're trying to make cheap video dock, having to deal with HDMI is probably not going to cut it (especially all the licensing fees).

        Next, if you want plain stereo audio out, well, at that point it's a proprietary solution. Motorola has audio output if you put a specific series of resistors in which then software takes to mean you want audio out in

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Not only that, but they've made it difficult to clone. Apparently all those cheap aftermarket accessories without the Apple Tax added on were really pissing off the management at Apple.
    • Well, that's one way to make money - gratuitous changes which you charge to fix.

      Riiiiiight, except Apple priced themselves out of it so they won't "make money" for long. It won't be long before MUCH cheaper 3rd party ones show up for a fraction of the cost. Not all are the best quality but if you even go to 1/2 the price, you can get a really decent one of anything that they've made in the past.

  • Micro USB? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ZiakII (829432)
    Is there any real reason besides vendor lock in that the Apple connector does differently then Micro-USB?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Think different. Spend more. Be cool.

      Apple fans are the only crowd that think Monster brand cables are too cheap.

      • Apple fans are the only crowd that think Monster brand cables are too cheap.

        One of the few? Yes. The only? No. I was buying a component video cable for my Wii console a few years ago, and Monster's was $10 cheaper than Nintendo's.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by CaptBubba (696284)

      The commonly stated reason is that the connector includes stuff like an HDMI interface. Now of course that ignores the fact there exists standards which integrate such things into a micro-usb connector, such as MHL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_High-Definition_Link [wikipedia.org]

      So it is part functionality, and part lock-in.

      • A much weaker argument now. The Lightning connector has fewer pins, which means that many of those additional capabilities are gone.Including HDMI output. Another feature sacrificed in Apple's quest for thinness. Like corporate annorexia.
      • by jo_ham (604554)

        Also future flexibility. The adapter has 8 pins, and can carry more current (if you don't use a standard USB plug on the other end of the cable, otherwise it's limited to USB current and voltage obviously).

        The MFI program is obviously important to them, so it doubtless had a part to play, but it's not like they intentionally set out to shun USB - the micro USB connector is ultimately a dead end, and it's also somewhat small and fiddly. They want a connector that will be standard for them for the next severa

    • by alen (225700)

      idevices i can play spotify, pandora and playlists through my car's USB port and control via the steering wheel

      with my android phone it seems it only plays the music on the memory card in alphabetical order, not in the playlist order

    • Is there any real reason besides vendor lock in that the Apple connector does differently then Micro-USB?/quote.

      Only two reasons I can think of. One is that MicroUSB is kind of a crappy design mechanically. Electrically it is fine and it is cheap and ubiquitous, but mechanically it has numerous failings. Lightning is a better design mechanically. The other reason is that having more pins allows the cable to do more functions than a serial cable. There is *some* advantage to the user with the lightning connector but for many there are probably more drawbacks including cost, lock-in, availability and did I mention cost?

  • Money Grab? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gonzo_ks (2471720)
    How is this anything but a money grab??
  • Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Cinder6 (894572)

    Why is this news? The people who want the adapter have already ordered one, and they already received an email stating their adapter has been shipped. Is this just another excuse to rag on Apple for not going micro-USB (as if anyone anywhere thought they actually would)?

    (Personally, I find the lack of standardized cables mildly annoying. However, I'm backward--I wish everyone would move to lightning cables, not micro-USB. Lightning is just nicer to use: it plugs in quicker without having to look, and yo

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tuppe666 (904118) on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:03AM (#41586281)

      Why is this news? The people who want the adapter have already ordered one, and they already received an email stating their adapter has been shipped. Is this just another excuse to rag on Apple for not going micro-USB (as if anyone anywhere thought they actually would)?

      (Personally, I find the lack of standardized cables mildly annoying. However, I'm backward--I wish everyone would move to lightning cables, not micro-USB. Lightning is just nicer to use: it plugs in quicker without having to look, and you don't have to worry about orientation. Sadly, Apple will never work to make it a standard.)

      See how you tried to spin that. Personally I think this is another minor Apple advertisement that we are constantly subjected to. I personally find it appalling that Apple have not followed the spirit of the EU directive, but then I'm not interested in defending them.

      However I'm not biased--I wish companies would follow open standards...and work with others to improve and refine them. Rather than use their market share to create propriety, closed standards like Sony of old. Sadly Apple have no interest in working with others only taking them to court.

      • I personally find it appalling that Apple have not followed the spirit of the EU directive

        Not to mention the glued-in batteries.

      • by papasui (567265)
        So a different opinion than yours is an advertisement for Apple? Lightning (in my opinion, no spin added) is a nicer connector as far as plugging things in are concerned vs micro usb. Ever fumble around trying to plug a android phone in the dark? I have because I have both an HTC Desire (loaded with cyangenmod) and a iPhone 5. So is that worth skipping usb for? Jury's out. As far as which phone I happen to prefer, well I find myself using my iPhone more but then I'm not a real geek since I've only be
      • by Cinder6 (894572)

        Spin? What did I spin? My parenthetical opinion? It was all true:

        1. I do find the lack of standardized cables mildly annoying. I had to charge my Kindle the other night, and only had an iPhone cable upstairs, so I had to go downstairs to grab a micro-USB cable. Mildly annoying, but not terrible.

        2. The new connector is nicer to use than micro-USB. It plugs in quicker and easier, and it's easier to tell that it's all the way in. Plus, it's reversible.

        3. I don't see it becoming a standard that other man

      • I think you just nailed it. That's where Apple is headed, and quickly.

    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DerekLyons (302214) <(fairwater) (at) (gmail.com)> on Monday October 08, 2012 @12:34PM (#41587751) Homepage

      Why is this news?

      Because it's an opportunity for the hourly Two Minute Hate.

  • I'm sure I read somewhere that lighning cables are active, i.e. they have circuitry, chips etc, rather than just being copper cable. Same here? (would explain the price a bit I guess)

  • by swb (14022) on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:26AM (#41586583)

    I support the change to the lightning connector for the most part -- it's a mechanically superior connector to 30 pin and to micro-USB (which keyed and difficult to orient in low-light conditions due to its size).

    But I think Apple really fucked up when it came to the lightning connector in terms of third party accessory availability, adapter availability and adapter functionality.

    First of all, it should have been rolled out with the iPad 3 first. iPad physical connectivity and portability is less common and it would have given developers lead time to get all kinds of accessories ready for iPhone 5.

    On the day that the phone was rolled out Apple should have had a 30 pin adapter available that replicated all thirty pin functionality outside of video. There's just no excuse for a delay of nearly a month for Apple-supplied adapters to an Apple-designed interface. They also should have had a lightning-HDMI adapter available (AFAIK, no HDMI interface is even announced let alone available).

    My understanding is that the 30 pin adapter they are selling provides analog audio but not iPod control -- why is that? Either iPod control isn't available over lightning at all or there must be some other good reason the adapter couldn't provide it. The lack of iPod control breaks a huge amount of functionality in things that aren't easily swapped out (ie, cars).

    Furthermore, Apple should have begun sharing Lightning technical info and approving designs with third parties so that they could have had devices ready for roll out. This whole "secret development" and the dog-and-pony introduction event has kind of run its course in many ways and keeping the interface a secret from partners really doesn't accomplish much except punish users.

    It remains to be seen whether Apple will realize that a more restrictive adapter and strangleholds on the technology and licensing of it actually hurts them and the ecosystem more than it helps. Part of me wonders how much of this is pure profiteering on Apple's part (IMHO, that's too simple) but part of me also thinks that some of this is a desire to manage DRM and other types of control by restricting who can make a cable and what it can do.

    If there aren't a lot of third party products, adapters, etc out before Christmas (ie, Thanksgiving...) this might be a kind of "Waterloo" for Apple.

    • by cheros (223479)

      It remains to be seen whether Apple will realize that a more restrictive adapter and strangleholds on the technology and licensing of it actually hurts them and the ecosystem more than it helps

      Apple seems to be doing rather well with this approach, and has been for years.

      Sometimes you can be in a position to dictate change, and Apple certainly is. There are a lot of benefits to the new connector and Lightning in general, and Apple is thus pushing through a change it thinks is beneficial - not just for itse

      • by swb (14022)

        From what I've read, Apple has gotten really strict about lightning product licensing, product design and manufacturing, requiring only licensed factories to be able to make third party products.

        To me this means that they are trying to limit what the connector can do by limiting who can make them, probably by trying to keep the interface chips locked down. This may be all "sane" business strategy when dealing with Chinese manufacturing (ie, keep quality high, minimize pirated products not paying licensing

    • by GizmoToy (450886)

      I tend to agree. I was slightly upset when the new connector was announced, but I never honestly expected them to go with a standard connector. After using Lightning for a few weeks now, I will say that it's a fantastic connector. It's sturdy, small, and reversible. There's not much more I could ask for.

      That said, as you have above, there's no excuse for not having adapters available at launch. I also wonder how much of this was driven by Apple seeing 5 for $1 30-pin to USB cables online and thinking "

      • by swb (14022)

        It's really hard to know what Apple's motivation was or why the adapters weren't made available.

        What I've been reading about Apple's much strict control over lightning devices form third parties leads me to believe they are trying to keep a genie in the bottle with regards to what can be done with the lightning port. Maybe it's about quality. Maybe it's about making money on everything and protecting their licensing.

        I suspect it's all of it -- the good thing for Apple was that while the 30 pin connector d

    • by dkf (304284)

      The lack of iPod control breaks a huge amount of functionality in things that aren't easily swapped out (ie, cars).

      It's simple! All you have to do is switch your car to a new Apple-approved Lightning-enabled one! It's a cheap one-off alteration that will only cost a substantial multiple of the iPhone 5 cost, so get to it! After all, you wouldn't want to be seen without your iPhone. (Meanwhile, the lack of compatibility with your car is a safety feature that prevents you from getting lost while following driving directions from the new mapping app. Apple: always thinking of you.)

    • AFAIK, no HDMI interface is even announced let alone available

      http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/13/3329062/apple-lightning-hdmi-vga-cable-adapter-coming-months [theverge.com]
      'An Apple spokesperson told The Verge that Lightning to HDMI and Lightning to VGA cables "will be available in the coming months."'

      My understanding is that the 30 pin adapter they are selling provides analog audio but not iPod control

      http://www.macworld.com/article/1168555/what_apples_new_lightning_connector_means_for_you.html [macworld.com]
      'Apple has confirmed to Macworld that these adapters support analog and USB audio-out, as well as syncing and charging. However, the adapters don’t support video-out or iPod mode, t

      • by swb (14022)

        Playing audio is worthless without controls and only marginally more useful without dash display of artist/song/etc.

  • STANDARD USB PORT!

    Most of the other manufacturers can manage this ONE little design feature, WHY CAN'T YOU!?

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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