Adapting to Apple

I don’t believe I have ever ranted about a product that I have yet to see or use, but bear with me and you’ll soon see why. There is some strong evidence that the new iPhone 5 will use a smaller docking connector rather than the current 30-pin model and if that’s right, it means buying an adapter — or many if you own a number of iPhone docks for charging, music,

This isn’t the first time an Apple product requires some sort of adapter. In fact, I can’t think of one that doesn’t. The original iPhone’s headphone jack required an adapter to work with most headphones on the market, then the 3G model’s connector wouldn’t work with the plethora of first-gen music docks. Even my MacBook Air requires an array of adapters to connect to Ethernet or to a monitor. Yes – to a monitor.

You have to hand it to Apple. Making things like headphones and monitors inoperable out of the box is pretty nervy – it’s my generation’s version of “batteries not included.” But Apple allegedly needs the casing space for the new LTE chipset and larger battery, and the accessory manufacturers must surely be rubbing their hands with glee at all the new adapter sales coming their way, as well as all the new docks. Yes, I can shrug at the new iPhone and clutch my current docks, but we all know that in the end, somehow Mac addicts adapt.

So – am I truly addicted? Are you? Will you be adapting with the iPhone 5? Or is this one adapter too many? Let me know by posting a comment below.

12 Responses to “Adapting to Apple”

    • Well, that’s what Apple promised too for the last couple of generations. Obviously it’s easier for Apple to impose these kinds of changes since the business model calls for Apple to control all egress to the devices. But are we assuming that its only motivation is the upsell? If Jobs were here to announce the iPhone 5, wouldn’t we be willing to consider that Apple would only do this if it improved the product design in some tangible way?

  1. Isn’t this supposed to be a speculation? Assuming that it’s true, Apple sells millions of products and trying to bring a change into their product to make it better is not a bad idea. Its just how they want to design this time. I would love to see iPod,iPhone,ipad with a micro USB connecter but if they can make the device much more functional and useful with a smaller docking connecter, so be it. I was initially irritated when they decided not to support flash but flash did crash my browser on android devices and it was painfully slow. Let them change and if its good, people will buy it and if not, they wont.

  2. I find this post to be more of a gripe about changing technology than a worthwhile article. The iPod dock connector hasn’t changed since its first appearance c. 2002. Do you think the MacBook Air needs a giant 15 pin VGA connector like almost every PC on the market has? That connection is as thick as the MacBook Air itself! In regards to the iPhone 3G not working with first gen docks, Apple removed the FireWire chipset from the iPhone to reduce cost, price, weight, etc. It was not Apple’s fault or problem that third-party accessory manufacturers chose to use the FireWire pin in their docks to charge the docked device.

    The iPod dock connector made since when it came out; 30 pins, most of which had a specific purpose (5 pins for USB, a few for FireWire, dedicated audio left and right, some pins for controlling the iPod via external controls) but now that a lot of those pins aren’t in use it doesn’t make sense to have such a large connector. Apple held on to that same dock pinout for a decade, and it’s time to change.

  3. John Rooney

    IBM has played this game with software/hardware upgrades successfully years ago . Many a company has had to adapt or scrap to keep going and growing. The product is the problem. In this case, nobody else could match IBM’s level of support and quality of product. Eventually, other computer marketers arose and knocked IBM into the cheap seats and today they are just another choice in a crowded market. Apple really ticked me off with it’s first IPAD . I got one as a gift 6 months aftter they brought the first one out. At the same time, unbeknownst to me IPAD2 was put on the market. At the same $500, it had two cameras ( IPAD1 had none) and several other features. What did Apple give to IPAD1 owners by way of compensation? UUNEGATZ ( ask an Italian). This wasn’t the first arrogant move from Apple and won’t be the last.
    Aside from more gifts, I won’t be buying any more Apple hardware or software. Oh yeah there are several more versions of IPAD down to $300.

  4. There are reasons that Apple has changed the adapter; it’s called innovation! Something Adroid devices are void of. And by the way, the adapter comes free with the phone. If you bought one yourself, you’d know that.

    Apple’s innovations will far exceed your excuses for ranting. Believe me. And when Apple wins the lawsuits against all the copiers out there, you’ll have your useless Android phone wishing you had an iPhone.

    An Apple user since 1984 and a stockholder.

  5. S0wndman

    I just wish apple would make their adapters more rugged. They use such small wires that even the most careful use still ends with the cable coming apart, and those things are not cheap!

  6. I don’t see a problem with the dock connector becoming small. I understand a new connector means the previous ones cannot be used ‘as is’ without some adapter for newer equipment, but as someone already reminded us, the equipment comes with a current USB cable. For folks who do not want to carry the cable between their home, office and in their car, it’s a bummer.

    I’m a bit unhappy the power connector for their latest Airs and Pros had be reverted to a design sticking out to the side, instead of going straight back at a right angle.