A month ago in the US, The iPhone 5 released. But a single Lightning dock accessory not launched.
Apple excellently abandonedﾯﾾﾾﾂﾯﾾﾾﾾﾠ30-pin dock connector.
The 30-pin connector debuted 9 years ago with the 3rd-generation iPod.
If there was simply one model that arrived with a belt clip, because it wasnﾯﾾﾾﾢﾯﾾﾾﾾﾀﾯﾾﾾﾾﾙt even probably to set it into a pocket.
As far as standards go, the dock connector did everything right: it was simple to physically produce, popular enough to attract gadget makers, and convenient enough to become 2nd nature to everyone who utilized it. Anyone who wish to be part of the iPod cash machine could jump in, and fabulously useful accessories such as alarm clocks,ﾯﾾﾾﾂﾯﾾﾾﾾﾠvoice recorders, DJ consoles and home theatre docks show up alongside silly ones like pocket fans.
Apple, of course, charged unhealthy amounts for its cables and docks, but cheaper alternatives were obtainable pretty much from the begining. At its core, the dock connector was simply an ordinary plug in a proprietary shape, that simply permitted ﾯﾾﾾﾂﾯﾾﾾﾾﾠthe iPod (and its later variations, besides the iPhone and iPad) to exchange power and data with anything else.
It can be inserted into a socket either way.
However itﾯﾾﾾﾢﾯﾾﾾﾾﾀﾯﾾﾾﾾﾙs not simply an ordinary plug which lets wires from outside make contact with wires inside.
Actually each plug on a Lightning cable and connector on a dock is a little device in itself, with a couple of controller chips which can be made up to allow ﾯﾾﾾﾂﾯﾾﾾﾾﾠor disallow arbitrary connections.
Accessories have to 1st recognize themselves to the new iPhone, and then wait for the iPhone to conclude what sort of data, when any, should be able to pass through.
Whereas the 30-pin dock connector had inscribe ways for analogue audio and video in addition to digital data, but the new 8-pin Lightning connector is only digital.
Accessories (even cables and adaptors) will required to include the circuitry need to convert that data stream into a useful audio or video.
Probably once they have been identified and authorised to do so.
This modifications all kinds of dynamics for Apple, accessory makers and end users.
1. The price of implementing these chips in every cable and dock rules out any incentive to experiment with cheap, fun accessories.
2. Appleﾯﾾﾾﾢﾯﾾﾾﾾﾀﾯﾾﾾﾾﾙs decision to maintain supplies of these chips will restrict the market to those who are willing to buy them on Appleﾯﾾﾾﾢﾯﾾﾾﾾﾀﾯﾾﾾﾾﾙs terms.
3. End users have fewer choices, especially when it comes to the price.
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