Print 88 comment(s) - last by kmmatney.. on Oct 8 at 11:08 AM

Adapters won't come cheap

Apple's iPhone 5 was announced today, and with it came the realization of a smaller dock connector. The 30-pin dock connector has been around for 9 years, and Apple cites its desire for thinner, more svelte devices as the reason to go with the smaller "Lightning" connector.
However, those who have accumulated a wealth of 30-pin cables and accessories are going to have to fork over the big bucks to allow them to work with Apple's new Lightning connector. Apple is listing the Lightning to 30-pin adapter for $29 on its online store. Considering that you would need one adapter for each cable/accessory, things could get pricey pretty quickly.

New Lightning 8-pin USB cables aren't much cheaper at $19 each.
The best bet for those looking to make the switch is to wait for the cheap Chinese knock-offs to start flooding eBay (it's easy to find current 30-pin USB cables for $1 to $3 each).
The positive news is that once all of Apple's mobile devices are equipped with the new Lightning dock, you won't have to worry about the boys from Cupertino switching things up again anytime soon. “This is the new connector for many years to come,” said Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller in an interview with AllThingsD.

Sources: Apple [1], [2], AllThingsD

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Tech weenies weeping and wailing
By Tony Swash on 9/14/2012 9:37:58 AM , Rating: 2
Even knowing the large luddite contingent that frequents these forums I was surprised, no shocked, by the amount of weeping and wailing by tech weenies about a cable almost none of them will buy. Their shock and horror that technology actually changes is saddening.

Elsewhere more rational discourse was possible.

People keep asking why Apple didn’t opt for the micro-USB connector. The answer is simple: that connector isn’t smart enough. It has only 5 pins: +5V, Ground, 2 digital data pins, and a sense pin, so most of the dock connector functions wouldn’t work – only charging and syncing would. Also, the pins are so small that no current plug/connector manufacturer allows the 2A needed for iPad charging.

This takes us back to the sensing circuitry referred to. If one of the pins is reserved for sensing – even if it is the “dumb” sensing type that Apple has used in the previous generation, using resistors to ground – and two pins are mapped directly to the 2 USB data pins, the other 5 pins can be switched at will to whatever function is necessary. For instance, if the USB-to-Lightning cable is used, the data pins can signal whether the USB side is plugged to a charger or to a computer’s USB port, and the other 5 pins can be used for charging current without overloading any single pin.

This also explains the size (and price) of the Lightning-to-30 pin adapter. It has to demultiplex the new digital signals and generate most of the old 30-pin signals, including audio and serial transmit and receive.

Gruber nailed it.

Apple’s choices came down to:

Stick with the existing 30-pin port, despite it being old, ugly, and so thick that it had become the limiting factor for how thin and small devices could be.

Switch to an industry standard that, though small, was not as elegant or well-designed as what Apple could do on its own, and would cost Apple its control over the peripheral market. (And we’d still need dongles for existing 30-pin peripherals.)

Invent something new and proprietary that looks and works exactly how Apple wants it to.

If you think Apple spent much time pondering anything but the third option, you don’t understand Apple. ?

RE: Tech weenies weeping and wailing
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/14/2012 10:46:50 AM , Rating: 1
And yet, no one is shocked at how much of an Apple Douchebag you are...

RE: Tech weenies weeping and wailing
By Tony Swash on 9/14/2012 11:27:40 AM , Rating: 2
Another tech free comment - do you actually care about technology and technical change and progress? I don't think so. You just seem consumed by a weird obsessive hatred for a company whose products you don't own. What a sad specimen you are.

By Cheesew1z69 on 9/14/2012 1:04:47 PM , Rating: 1
It's quite obvious you don't, by your pathetic support of Apple and the ridiculous lawsuit bullshit that you are ok with.

Only sad specimen is you, not only sad, but pathetically sad.

By Shadowself on 9/14/2012 1:25:10 PM , Rating: 2
The point is NOT Apple creating a new connector.

The point is NOT Apple selling adapters to go between the old and new connectors.

The point is NOT Apple pushing a proprietary connector.

The point IS... (wait for it)...

Apple is charging an absolutely, undeniably absurd price for this adapter.

Apple could sell 100 million of these in the next year or so (there are *several* hundred million accessories out there with the old connector). If Apple dropped the price to $9.99 each Apple could rake in as much as $1 billion over the next year or so.

Instead, Apple will rape people for $29 (or $39 with an integral cord) and probably sell one million of them.

Yes, Apple probably will make the same pre-tax profit either way. But in the lower price variant, Apple does not piss off it's user base!

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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