With the new iPhone 5, fifth generation iPod touch, and newest iPod Nano, Apple has introduced the new lightning connector. It replaces the 30-pin connector that we have all become accustomed with over the past decade.
First of all, the positives:
- The lightning connector is tiny, measuring at less than 7 millimetres in width;
- It is easier to use and reversible: It can be inserted either way, so you don't have to worry about which end goes on top;
- The smaller size definitely aides in “slimming down” the Apple products;
- Millions of old cables around the world will likely become obsolete as newer Apple models become more prevalent;
- It is a hassle now to switch between cables for your new and old devices;
- Owners of the new devices will need to carry either the adaptors or an extra lightning cable to keep them charged;
- Most iPhone owners use them everywhere and everyday. Conveniences of charging will be compromised;
- Consumers will see the prices as expensive and a quick way for Apple to make even more profit than they already have;
- Old docks and speakers, even with the adaptors, will look a bit awkward, if not obsolete;
Lightning to 30-pin Adaptors
Adaptors are now available, but not cheap. This first one costs $39 USD, and will be useful if you have the camera connection kit, to transfer photos and videos from one Apple device to another, or to your Mac/PCs. This adaptor is also better if you use thicker cases for your iPhones and iPads
A great video review of the adaptor can be viewed here:
Finally, if you do not own too many older iPod/iPhone accessories, skip the adaptors and just buy an extra lightning cable or two for your car or workplace. This is the cheapest option, at $19. (Your new device will have one included.)
A close-up comparison of old and new.
Since owning the iPhone 5, I have already experienced a minor problem of not being able to charge it while on the go. Although I did purchase an extra lightning cable for my car (which I can use with the stereo's USB input), I still need to pick up an extra cigarette lighter charger for the family SUV. Either that or carry the adaptor wherever I go. Seems like an arduous task.
Apple has made bold moves by switching over to this new connection, and not including an adaptor for consumers who buy the newer devices. However, over time, it will become more common place. Third party companies are already working hard at making accessories that will be lightning compatible. Your next iPad will use lightning. The upcoming iPad mini will have it. I guess we will just become used to it and it will become the new normal in charging and syncing your devices.