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Apple Now Shipping Lightning To 30-Pin Adapters 173

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 @11:31AM (#41585777)

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

  • Re:Lockin (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brad1138 ( 590148 ) <> on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:34AM (#41585827)
    Why the hell couldn't they go with Micro-USB like everyone else?
  • Re:Lockin (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:34AM (#41585831)
    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.
  • Money Grab? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gonzo_ks ( 2471720 ) on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:36AM (#41585861)
    How is this anything but a money grab??
  • Re:Lockin (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:36AM (#41585871)

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

  • Re:Micro USB? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:41AM (#41585941)

    Think different. Spend more. Be cool.

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

  • Re:Lockin (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:41AM (#41585945)

    Why the hell do we have to go over the technology of the connector every time it comes up in an article?

    Now don't ask again. Jesus.

  • Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Cinder6 ( 894572 ) on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:42AM (#41585965)

    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.)

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:51AM (#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.

  • Re:Lockin (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:53AM (#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.
  • Re:Lockin (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Revotron ( 1115029 ) on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:53AM (#41586125)
    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 something that would actually stand the test of time. I have an iPod and various iPod cables from 6 years ago that still make a perfect connection despite thousands of insertions.
  • Re:Lockin (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <> on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:54AM (#41586145)

    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 generation iPad is already struggling with the meagre amount they can push over USB (even when already exceeding the original 500 mA limit).

    Back on topic, I will not be the first to say, but how is this news? It's an adapter that is now shipping. Other than another chance for some page hits and ad revenue I'd hardly qualify this as something the public really needs to know. Anyone who has one on order has been emailed that their adapter has shipped, surely?

  • Re:Lockin (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tuppe666 ( 904118 ) on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:57AM (#41586183)

    Why the hell do we have to go over the technology of the connector every time it comes up in an article? []
    Now don't ask again. Jesus.

    Blasphemy rarely helps with creating a compelling argument. The article you have linked to suggests a gain of 10% in charge time as the reason for choosing an incompatible standard. That is not a significant reason for not accepting the industry standard...and the ethical one.

  • by Necroman ( 61604 ) on Monday October 08, 2012 @12:07PM (#41586343)

    That can still be ambiguous. Sure, after using it for a bit, users would learn by feel which way is the right way. But how do you know which way connector should go into the device without trial and error?

    There may be an arrow on the device to help you align it, but that's still only part-way there (especially with how many people put their mobile devices in cases).

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Monday October 08, 2012 @12:26PM (#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.

  • Re:Lockin (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Revotron ( 1115029 ) on Monday October 08, 2012 @01:12PM (#41587397)
    Sorry, my personal experience doesn't match your personal experience. I guess that makes me 100% wrong because everything you know is the absolute truth with no possibility for exception. I guess I must be lying about how my HTC Sensation only maintains a solid charging status with 1 out of my 5 MicroUSB chargers. I guess there must be a glitch in the Matrix or something because theoretically MicroUSB isn't supposed to have these problems, so it must work perfectly and I must be so full of shit!

    "Your" an idiot. Go play in traffic.
  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DerekLyons ( 302214 ) <> on Monday October 08, 2012 @01:34PM (#41587751) Homepage

    Why is this news?

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

  • Re:Lockin (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tastecicles ( 1153671 ) on Monday October 08, 2012 @06:44PM (#41591261)

    I have never broken a laptop connector in my life, and I'm fairly rough with my gear. What do you Macboys do, swing them over your heads??

    I have also never broken a USB port in my life. My Motorola RAZR V3i, which I've had since 2004, still has its original connector, which it still charges through (and the battery, which is also original hence eight years old, outlasts an iPhone battery by something like a week). What do you Macboys do to warrant such necessity in design as locking wide connectors? Play the things like yo-yos?

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"