With the iPhone 5, Apple switched away from the long used 30-pin dock connector to a smaller Lightning dock connector.
This means that users will need to switch accessories or purchase a Lightning to 30-pin adapter to continue using older iPhone dock accessories.
The new Lightning to USB cable ships with the iPhone 5, but we have a replacement cable in hand to show how the Lightning connector compares to the 30 pin dock connector in size.
The Lightning connector is noticeable smaller than the old dock connector. It’s approximately 4 times smaller than the old dock connector in width.
The Lightning connector white housing is a slightly thinner than the 30 pin dock connector. The actual connector is thinner, about the same thickness as the small clip area ont eh old dock connector.
The new Lightning connector uses a slightly thinner cable and is about 2 inches longer than the old cable. The USB end of the cable offers a smaller housing as well.
Apple did not announce any speed benefits of the new cable, focusing mainly on the design changes it enables. The smaller cable allows Apple to mak a thinner iPhone and to relocate the headphone jack to the bottom of the device. Apple also claims that this new cable and connection is more durable than the 30 pin dock connector.
One of the most tangible benefits to users is the ability to put plug the cable into the iPhone 5 in either direction. There is no marking to indicate the top of the cable because users can plug it in either direction. This is a nice touch for those of us who hate fumbling with the 30 pin dock connector at night.