In the fall of 2012, Apple released a revolutionary new connecting port on their portable devices, moving to a new design for the first time in 10 years. The new connector is called a ‘Lightning Connector,’ and it is a completely new redesign of the previous 30-pin connector. The Lightning Connector is an eight-pin design, meaning it has eight metal contact points, four on each side. The new connector is almost 80% smaller than the 30-pin connector it replaces. In addition, it contrasts with the 30-pin connector in being reversible and digital, in that it has a microchip inside the cable itself.
The major downside of the new Lightning Connector design is the millions of 30-pin accessories sold that will no longer connect directly to the Lightning Connector. However, there is a solution to this in that a Lightning Adapter and Lightning Adapter Cable are available to connect your new iPhone 5 (or other Lightning Connector device) to legacy 30-pin accessories. These accessories are available directly from Apple and their resellers, but at a very steep cost of $29 for the Lightning Adapter and $39 for the Lightning Adapter Cable.
One alternative to the expensive Apple-branded adapters is to purchase a third-party Lightning Adapter or Adapter Cable. A search for these items will lead to many results. We recommend working with a legitimate online retailer, who has a physical mailing address and phone number on their website, and who will stand behind the products they sell.
Another interesting alternative to the expensive adapters is the 30-pin Bluetooth Dock Adapter, which connects to your legacy 30-pin accessories. This small, easy-to-use device plugs directly into your 30-pin dock or accessory. When the accessory is turned on, the Bluetooth Dock Adapter is switched on automatically. You can then use your Bluetooth-enabled device (nearly everything has Bluetooth) to connect to the dock or accessory without the wires or a physical connection. Essentially, it converts your docking station or accessory into a wireless music player. This has the added benefit of allowing multiple devices to connect wirelessly to your docking station or accessory.
The current list of Apple devices with the Lightning Connector are: iPhone 5, iPad mini, iPad 4th generation, iPod touch 5th generation and iPod nano 7th generation. If you own one of these devices, you are probably in the market for a 30-pin adapter. Shop carefully and we hope you enjoy your new iDevice!