How attached are you to Apple's 30-pin connector?
By Adam TURNER
Do you care if the iPhone 5 abandons Apple's long-standing connector?
Whether you like Apple or not, you have to admit that it's good at building an ecosystem. Interoperability is certainly one advantage that iGadgets have over the fragmented Android platform, spawning an entire industry around accessories such as iPhone cases, car kits, charge cradles and speaker docks. Many Apple gadget lovers have probably invested as much in accessories as they have in their actual gadgets, but that could all go to waste if Apple opts for a smaller connector on the iPhone 5.
There's strong talk of Apple switching to a connector similar in size to micro-USB, although it's unlikely to actually be micro-USB because that's not Apple's style. If the iPhone does switch to a smaller connector then Apple might release an adaptor or we might see them from third parties, but that won't be a fix-all solution. An adaptor won't help fit the iPhone 5 into the tight-fitting TomTom car kit (pictured above). It also probably won't help the iPhone 5 stand up in an old speaker dock either. I've seen Apple fanboys retort with "but everything is wireless these days via the likes of Bluetooth ". That's of little consolation to someone who bought an iPhone accessory without wireless connectivity because they thought they could trust Apple to stick with the 30-pin connector. Personally if I'm buying audio equipment which features an iPhone dock I also look for an auxiliary input as an insurance policy, but not all gear offers this luxury.
To be fair to Apple, iGadget owners have had a pretty good run when it comes to compatibility. When you buy a new Android device you're often faced with the prospect of all new accessories. But the long-term stability of the iGadget ecosystem means owners have probably invested a lot more in accessories over the years, which means they've actually got a lot more to lose. It's going to come as quite a shock to people who have lived within the Apple ecosystem for the last five to ten years.
Personally I think Apple will also change the dimensions of the iPhone 5, breaking backwards compatibility with most accessories anyway and thus rendering the connector change a moot point. But if we're slugged with a smaller connector, yet not rewarded with a bigger screen, I think you can expect a lot of unhappy iCampers.
|Subscribe to Hydrapinion|