iPhone 5 using new Lightning dock connector

The iPhone 5 announced today at Apple's big event will include a new dock connector called Lightning. We saw it often enough in the pre-show leaks, and is now fully official. It includes a new all-digital 8-signal design, has an adaptive interface, improved durability, reversible (i.e. usable from both ends), and is 80% smaller than the old dock connector.

As for all of those accessory manufacturers bashing their head against the table now, Apple will be providing an adapter which will allow old docks to plug into the new Lightning connector. That said, there are already a lot of big names already well on their way to making Lightning-compatible accessories, including Bose, JBL, B&W, and B&O. Whether or not this new cable is any faster or useful than the old one is anybody's guess, but at least it's smaller, and at this point, Apple really needs to save as much room as possible in their devices. In any case, let's pour one out for our old dock connector. It's been a good 9 years.

There's still lots more iPhone 5 stuff to catch up on, so stay tuned!

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

  • Confused about the reversible part. Is it the lightning connector on both ends?
  • No, it means the end with lightning has no up/down, it will go in either way unlike the 30 pin connector.
  • The article says that it means "usable from both ends", not that it has no up/down, so I'm confused as well. Obviously no up/down would be preferred, that's my main gripe with any USB. edit - come to think of it, that doesn't make much sense as every existing power source is going to be full-size USB, so you'd need an adapter if both ends of the cable were Lightning. I'd like some clarification on that.
  • I've been following the rumours for a while and the live blogs of the event so I'm confident that if apple say its reversible (which the screen shots do) my definition is accurate :) The article isn't clear, but it was published really quickly after the annoucement so i'm sure they can be forgiven. As you say, an apple connector at both ends wouldn't be much use :) The key question is does it support USB3? They didn't mention it so i'm guessing no :(
  • they have the pic up on the iphone page now and it shows that the other end is USB like the current 30 pin cord
  • I'm not sure going all digital is a good idea at this point. If the new dock is ALL DIGITAL, doesn't that mean the adapter to use with the old docks will need to have a Digtial to Analog Converter (DAC) inside, in order to get audio line-out? If so, will it be as good, better, or worse than the one already built into the iPhone? Wouldn't that increase the cost? Many of use use tiny iPod line-out docks to connect to small portable headphone amplifiers. Will portable amps now need to include their own DAC? Does this mean we won't get component video out anymore, since that is analog unlike HDMI? We connect out iPhones to a larger monitor in the car sometimes, and often in hotel rooms to watch videos. What will happen now?
  • I'd assume the headset jack on the bottom would take care of the analog audio.
  • Guys,
    Don't take it otherwise, but this the only innovation apple made with iPhone 5. If any one of think of any thing else please let me know. No nfc, kidding right, will be kept for next iPhone 6 innovation.
  • NFC has been the new thing for a while but no one seems to actually want it - in the UK at least we've had contactless bank cards available for a while but very few people actually want them. NFC is a technology waiting for a purpose.
  • Did they happen to mention if it the iP5 runs USB 3 with the new connector? I'm still catching up with the release news.
  • no mention of USB2 or USB3 support - so i'm guessing its still USB2
  • Why can't they just use microUSB? EVERYONE has microusb stuff.
  • This bothers me the most as well. Tired of buying adapters for every phone and having to throw them out next time I get a new phone.
  • It looks like a lot of the audio/video accessories will have trouble with this dock adaptor:
    "This adapter lets you connect devices with a Lightning connector to many of your 30-pin accessories.* Video and iPod Out not supported.
    *Some 30-pin accessories are not supported."
  • I like the design - however major disappointment that it is USB2. I had expected to finally get good sync performance with USB 3.0.
  • To people who are confused the dock connector means that like the MagSafe you can put it in either way round not that it's double or any of the wierd things you've come currently the 30 pin connector only goes with one side facing upwards and one side facing downwards now either side can be facing up or down it's a good thing trust me
  • Has anyone seen a case that incorporates the lightning to 30-pin adapter yet? I might be interested in purchasing one.