Apple’s New Lightning Dock Adapter Could Become a Nightmare for Users

One of the major upgrades in the new iPhone 5 and iPod line is the Lightning dock connector, which is significantly smaller, all-digital and reversible.  To help lucky new owners grandfather in their old accessories, there’s the convenient little Lightning to 30-pin Adapter available for $29 on the Apple website.  But is it really going to be that simple?  Probably not.

If you have more than one docking station, chances are you’ll want more than one adapter rather than have to run and find whatever dock you left it on to use it.  If you travel, you’ll probably want to have one in your bag as well.  What about your car charger, or perhaps the built-in connector on your car stereo?  Or do you just bite the bullet and use it as an opportunity to upgrade to something new?

Consumers aside, think about other places that offer Apple docking systems like hotels and gyms.  Do they upgrade to all-new docking stations and risk alienating those with older Apple devices, or invest in a bunch of adapters and risk them becoming the next item of choice to pilfer from your hotel room?  It’s a tough choice, and an expensive one either way.

Speaking of those with older Apple devices, what about still offering support for them?  Will accessory manufacturers continue to produce items with the old adapter, or are they stuck with what they currently have until they upgrade their device?  Perhaps the solution will be for Apple to manufacture reverse adapters as well, so that those with older devices can adapt to use the newer accessories.

After having every single Apple device for the past 11 years produced with the same connector, it’s definitely a big shakeup for the industry to suddenly shift gears entirely, and it’ll be interesting to see how the potential fallout is handled.  The rest of us may not be rejoicing at the idea of adapting or upgrading, but accessory makers certainly must be!

[via Wall Street Journal]

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About Jenni: Jenni is a healthy-living food blogger who rarely lets her iPad leave her side. Find her on Twitter @spoonfulatatime.