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Lighting Connector vs. 30 Pin Dock Connector (Photos)



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.

Lighting Connector vs. 30 Pin Dock Connector - head on

30 Pin Dock Connector vs. Lighting Connector.

The Lightning connector is noticeable smaller than the old dock connector. It’s approximately 4 times smaller than the old dock connector in width.

Lighting Connector vs. 30 Pin Dock Connector - Size comparison

The Lightning connector is about 1/4th the size of the 30 pin dock connector.

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.

Lighting Connector vs. 30 Pin Dock Connector - USB end

The USB end of the new adapter is slightly smaller, with a thinner housing.

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.

iPhone 5 Lightning Connection

The iPhone 5 Lightning connection and relocated headphone jack.

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.



  1. Kd 67 67

    03/07/2013 at 7:48 pm

    I fumble with the 30 pin at night

  2. Mendietr

    04/16/2013 at 6:56 am

    I do not understand why smaller is better, I think that is worse.

  3. SSS

    06/24/2013 at 11:46 pm

    How much did Apple pay you to write this ‘article’. The lighting cable is a nice scheme to bilk more money out of the consumer without providing any real progress. I would rather ‘fumble’ with my 30 pin connector than have to spend $100 buying new cables for all my devices. BTW if you get any closer to the connectors when photographing them you can make the 30 pin look like the Empire State Building. Seriously, the size was never really a huge deal

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