Don’t Buy 30-pin iPhone & iPad Dock Connector Accessories

It looks like Apple will make the change from the ubiquitous 30-pin Dock Connector that thousands of accessories use to connect to the Apple iPhone, iPod and iPad.

The wider connector served Apple well for many years now, but they will likely change to a smaller 19-pin Dock Connector, if we can believe reports that keep surfacing. The rumor first hit some lesser known sites, but mainstream news media sites like Reuters reported the switch as well.

People should avoid buying expensive accessories using the current 30-pin Dock Connector if they plan to get the iPhone 5 or hope to buy a new iPad, either the rumored iPad Mini or a 4th gen iPad next Spring.

iphone 5 smaller dock connector

I’ve reviewed dozens of 30-pin dock connector accessories. iPhone, iPod and iPad users probably own a drawer full of cables collected over the years. Why would Apple make such a drastic change knowing that there’s a huge selection of accessories for the current design? Our own Josh Smith offered 5 reasons in a recent post.

It’s possible Apple might offer an adapter to let users use their old accessories with the new iPhone and any other new devices using the new connector in the future. However, if they follow their past pricing for such adapters, it will cost at least $29. That means consumers should add that price to the amount they spend for accessories bought before the change.

Apple Micro USB Adapter

The adapter may look like this.

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I reached out to contacts at some Apple accessory makers and none of them would comment about whether they will offer accessories for the new dock connector or whether they will offer adapters. If I’m reading into their silence, I’d say they know that Apple will change it and won’t comment to protect their place as an official Apple accessory maker, however, that’s highly speculative.

If Apple changes the connector, accessory makers will likely offer new versions with the new connector or adapters to make their current devices usable. They won’t be as motivated to make older devices work since they’ll likely make more money selling you a new speaker dock or car dock.

Speaking of car docks, the potential change hurts people who bought a vehicle with a 30-pin dock connection built into their car’s stereo system. No one will buy a new car just to get a new connector, so car owners will have to get an adapter.

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Some may need to get a new charging/syncing cable because they broke theirs. Replacing a broken charging cable usually isn’t necessary. Just take it to an Apple Store and they’ll swap it out no questions asked.

Comments

  1. Tim says

    The picture of your proposed adapter is incorrect because the purpose is not to have the new apple cable work with older phones but to have the new iphone receive older 30 pin accessories. Therefore the adapter would need the male version of the new 19 pin connector with the female version of the older 30 pin connector. Just the opposite of what is illustrated in the picture.

  2. Davey says

    Why would they switch to a smaller port? C’mon! For the same reason we have USB ports on our laptops instead of Centronics parallel ports. Is it that hard to figure out? Bloggers need to quit over-analyzing this.

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