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Old Feb 18, 2013, 08:45 AM   #126
zhenya
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Originally Posted by rdlink View Post
While there is some validity to the question of why Apple didn't just move to micro USB, I can tell you that I would rather have the lightning cable than micro USB.
There isn't, really.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 08:54 AM   #127
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This strategy has the side-effect of making accessories more expensive because companies are required to pay a licensing fee to Apple to be part of the MFi program
Seriously? A company with billion of dollars in profit yearly needs to make that extra cash? Ridiculous
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 09:01 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by danimal99 View Post
Having the ability to restrict doesn't mean that was ever their intention. There is no evidence that they're doing that or ever would. That's just your pure speculation. IF they do it and there isn't a good reason why, THEN you could be outraged appropriately.

What we do know as a fact, is cheap cables break iPhones. The customer and Apple both pay for those, and in both cases a hell of a lot more than a $2 knockoff or even a $20 official cable.

What we also know is the Lightning cable is much smarter and more useful than previous cables, that surely took many millions of dollars of research and development to produce and perfect to the point of shipping in hundreds of millions of devices and being a capable standard for years to come.

Apple isn't a charity, it's a business. Why wouldn't they want to recoup at least some of that investment?
OMG, you mean Apple is trying to make a, a, PROFIT? Those bastards!

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Here's the point:
...We're 5 months down the road from iPhone 5 hitting the shelves, and with it, lightning. There has been added costs passed onto the customer, and no benefits beyond a reversible connector...
Simply not true. How about the ability to make their device smaller while keeping the same or better functionality and battery life? How about reverse compatibility (with the use of a 30-pin to lightning adapter)?
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 11:16 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by zhenya View Post
The 30-pin cable was very large for the size and more important, the interior density of modern devices.
Yeah, it's freaking HUGE.

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There would be very real tradeoffs in Apple's ability to continue making the best devices were they to have stuck with the outdated connector. Most of
Like what? Making stuff up in abstracts doesn't count. I could tell you my warp drive might be compromised by too much hydrocarbons in the atmosphere but that doesn't make it true.

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the original functionality of that connector was obsolete; it was time for a new one.
My warp drive runs on unleaded gasoline.

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Look at how large the 30-pin connector is compared to the Lightning:
Image
Yeah, it's more like it's SMALL and the lightning connector is simply smaller. But there's no device that needs a connector that small. They aren't going to make an iPhone the size of a penny for goodness sake. The phone just got LARGER. Most of the connector size runs along the bottom of the device, but I don't see any new connections there that they need to make room for that they suddenly needed to get rid of the 30-pin. But even IF they did have a good reason, Micro-USB is more than adequate, especially with USB 3.0 now rolling out en masse everywhere. Most people are now syncing over WiFi for goodness sake. They're not even using the connector except to charge the device.

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Mico-USB was never in the running because it provides nothing like the same level of functionality.
Uh...You DO know that the lightning connector cable *IS* USB on the OTHER END right?????

Heck, it's not even USB 3.0. It's just 2.0. Same level of functionality my arse.

The only purpose of the chip (other than security to keep people from making cables without paying their Apple TAX) is to reduce the number of pins on the cable and make it bi-directional (i.e. smart cable; micro USB has a distinct shape so it doesn't need to work plugged in either way). The end functionality is identical to the 30-pin connector and ALL of it is transmitted over a simple USB cable. There is NO reason they couldn't have simply used a micro-USB connector since it already is USB on the other end (i.e. it is converted into USB so why not just use USB in the first place since there's already a ton of accessories out there for it. Oh...that's right. Apple wants to make money selling you cables and adapters and licensing them to dock makers, clock makers, etc.) In short, GREED is the answer (as usual).

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OMG, you mean Apple is trying to make a, a, PROFIT? Those bastards!
You clearly enjoy getting ripped off, but most of us do not. Companies will never do what's best for society in general unless they're forced to do so. I remember when most printers didn't work with Macs because they had to use a different standard (RS-422 serial when almost every printer on the planet used a Centronics DB-25 parallel port. Choices? Who cares? We can make more money selling printers if they have to buy them from us or someone we license it to. Not much has changed since then other than Apple realizing that ignoring certain standards would have killed the company eventually due to high costs of manufacturing things with a different standard for everything (even better standards like SCSI just plain cost more and yet here we are again with Thunderbolt and drives that are insanely more expensive than their cheaper alternative, USB 3.0 where there's only a functional difference at the very top end of the chain and yet they're pushing it as a consumer device??? Apple isn't catering to the professional crowd much anymore or we'd have a Mac Pro update every year or even twice a year and it would have the latest high-end standards. But Thunderbolt is simply a waste on their consumer lines right now. It's going nowhere. Mini-DP is not used by hardly anyone either and just creates a need for adapters on almost everything unless you want to buy Apple's single monitor at insane prices and even then you don't get a USB 3.0 connector on its dock.... (face palm).

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Simply not true. How about the ability to make their device smaller while keeping the same or better functionality and battery life? How about reverse compatibility (with the use of a 30-pin to lightning adapter)?
Yeah, like they couldn't make a micro-USB to 30-pin adapter just as easily if not more easily and cheaper.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 11:27 AM   #130
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Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
Yeah, it's freaking HUGE.



Like what? Making stuff up in abstracts doesn't count. I could tell you my warp drive might be compromised by too much hydrocarbons in the atmosphere but that doesn't make it true.



My warp drive runs on unleaded gasoline.



Yeah, it's more like it's SMALL and the lightning connector is simply smaller. But there's no device that needs a connector that small. They aren't going to make an iPhone the size of a penny for goodness sake. The phone just got LARGER. Most of the connector size runs along the bottom of the device, but I don't see any new connections there that they need to make room for that they suddenly needed to get rid of the 30-pin. But even IF they did have a good reason, Micro-USB is more than adequate, especially with USB 3.0 now rolling out en masse everywhere. Most people are now syncing over WiFi for goodness sake. They're not even using the connector except to charge the device.



Uh...You DO know that the lightning connector cable *IS* USB on the OTHER END right?????

Heck, it's not even USB 3.0. It's just 2.0. Same level of functionality my arse.

The only purpose of the chip (other than security to keep people from making cables without paying their Apple TAX) is to reduce the number of pins on the cable and make it bi-directional (i.e. smart cable; micro USB has a distinct shape so it doesn't need to work plugged in either way). The end functionality is identical to the 30-pin connector and ALL of it is transmitted over a simple USB cable. There is NO reason they couldn't have simply used a micro-USB connector since it already is USB on the other end (i.e. it is converted into USB so why not just use USB in the first place since there's already a ton of accessories out there for it. Oh...that's right. Apple wants to make money selling you cables and adapters and licensing them to dock makers, clock makers, etc.) In short, GREED is the answer (as usual).
Look at the internals of an iPhone. Every mm of space is at a premium. This isn't even arguable.

You have NO idea what you are talking about regarding Apple's choice in not using micro-USB, and what the limitations of that standard are. Educate yourself and come back when you are qualified to discuss the topic. It has been discussed extensively here and in the tech press, and I've even given a brief overview of it in this very thread.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 11:37 AM   #131
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Look at the internals of an iPhone. Every mm of space is at a premium. This isn't even arguable.
Bullcrap. The iPhone has done just fine without lightning. If Apple weren't trying to upgrade the phone three times a year, they wouldn't have this problem. In fact, they are starting to create a "so what" atmosphere by updating so often. They are fast becoming the new HP of the tech world. No one is "wowed" anymore. Without Jobs the company is heading straight back where they came from the last time he "left" the company. The stock is plummeting despite their current profits because everyone can see the blase offerings they now have. Gee, it's the iPhone V21. Oh boy. It's added a flatulence detector and doubles as a taser in an emergency!

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You have NO idea what you are talking about regarding Apple's choice in not using micro-USB, and what the limitations of that standard are. Educate yourself and come back when you are qualified to discuss the topic. It has been discussed extensively here and in the tech press, and I've even given a brief overview of it in this very thread.
Perhaps what you're saying is that because maybe 1 in 1 million people use a video cable with their iPhone, the rest of us have to pay Apple $29 for an adapter and companies have to pay to license the darn thing. Sorry, it doesn't add up. Actually, wait, I take that back. There is NO support in the lightning connector for analog video. In other words, they dumped a 30-pin feature on the new connector.

Besides, they could easily have modified the connector to work with micro-USB for standard functions but use a more expensive cable only for those that would actually need it (i.e. less than 0.1%). They already combined Mini-DP and Light Peak into Thunderbolt. You're telling me they couldn't have managed a Micro-USB "Plus" instead of completely re-inventing the wheel just to cover mostly unused signals? Bologna. You go away and come back when you are qualified to discuss the topic.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 11:46 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
Perhaps what you're saying is that because maybe 1 in 1 million people use a video cable with their iPhone, the rest of us have to pay Apple $29 for an adapter and companies have to pay to license the darn thing. Sorry, it doesn't add up. Besides, they could easily have modified the connector to work with micro-USB for standard functions but use a more expensive cable only for those that would actually need it (i.e. less than 0.1%). They already combined Mini-DP and Light Peak into Thunderbolt. You're telling me they couldn't have managed a Micro-USB Plus instead of completely re-inventing the wheel just to cover mostly unused signals? Bologna. You go away and come back when you are qualified to discuss the topic.
Here is the explanation I gave back in November.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...1&postcount=56

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Originally Posted by zhenya View Post
Folks, the PRIMARY advantage that Apple's cables, whether new or old, provide is driverless communication and control with host devices. This means that a $50 clock radio can not only charge, but be integrated with the iOS device for audio and control. Micro-USB requires both drivers on the host device AND a chip to handle them. This is expensive and not reliable. This alone is why Apple has a proprietary connection and why there is a huge aftermarket for iOS devices and almost none for Android.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:12 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by rdlink View Post
The damn thing comes with a charging cable! What do you want, three? Or five? Or ten?

There's a difference in putting a movie up on screen and then telling your passengers they have to pay $2 to watch it, and charging for a convenience accessory when someone wants an extra cable. Really bad analogy.
I don't want any. I don't need any. I didn't get the iPhone 5. I wasn't complaining. I was merely offering an explanation why some people are upse.

And I didn't say it was a good analogy - only one that was likened to the way people feel. The people I've spoken to feel as if they are being nickel and dimed for additional cables or accessories to make their accessories which they spent decent money on work with their new phone.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 02:31 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
Bullcrap. The iPhone has done just fine without lightning. If Apple weren't trying to upgrade the phone three times a year, they wouldn't have this problem. In fact, they are starting to create a "so what" atmosphere by updating so often. They are fast becoming the new HP of the tech world. No one is "wowed" anymore. Without Jobs the company is heading straight back where they came from the last time he "left" the company. The stock is plummeting despite their current profits because everyone can see the blase offerings they now have. Gee, it's the iPhone V21. Oh boy. It's added a flatulence detector and doubles as a taser in an emergency!



Perhaps what you're saying is that because maybe 1 in 1 million people use a video cable with their iPhone, the rest of us have to pay Apple $29 for an adapter and companies have to pay to license the darn thing. Sorry, it doesn't add up. Actually, wait, I take that back. There is NO support in the lightning connector for analog video. In other words, they dumped a 30-pin feature on the new connector.

Besides, they could easily have modified the connector to work with micro-USB for standard functions but use a more expensive cable only for those that would actually need it (i.e. less than 0.1%). They already combined Mini-DP and Light Peak into Thunderbolt. You're telling me they couldn't have managed a Micro-USB "Plus" instead of completely re-inventing the wheel just to cover mostly unused signals? Bologna. You go away and come back when you are qualified to discuss the topic.
Seriously, if you can't listen to hardware or mechanical engineers or even have basic understanding why Micro-USB "Plus" is a suboptimal solution, then you shouldn't be discussing this topic at all.

I mean, heck. Have you soldered a microUSB connector before? No?
Then we're not even on the same textbook, much less the same page.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 02:33 PM   #135
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You mean Intel's invention Apple's money.
Don't make me think that much.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 06:41 PM   #136
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Seriously, if you can't listen to hardware or mechanical engineers or even have basic understanding why Micro-USB "Plus" is a suboptimal solution, then you shouldn't be discussing this topic at all.

I mean, heck. Have you soldered a microUSB connector before? No?
Then we're not even on the same textbook, much less the same page.
WTF does a mechanical engineer have to do with an electronic engineering project? I AM an electronic engineer, BTW. YOU obviously don't know WTF you're talking about by that statement ALONE.

You really shouldn't talk about things you know NOTHING about. I was soldering 9-pin serial ports to make custom Atari joystick cables before you were born, most likely.

The TRUTH is lightning connectors are unnecessary overpriced solution to a NON-PROBLEM. They have single-handedly destroyed an entire ecosystem's worth of existing 30-pin products from hotel clock radios to personal docks. Worse yet, while they do offer an overpriced lightning to 30-pin adapter, there is NO adapter offered for the other way around. In other words, once new clock radios start using lightning adapters instead, older devices will no longer be able to connect. And exactly WHEN hotels, etc. should start switching over when there are more 30-pin devices out there than lightning ones is another "bag of hurt".

Apple made a conscious decision to FRAK over EVERYONE involved from end user to businesses supplying products. They then make the adapters $29 and don't even include one with new products, making a bad situation even worse. Their greatest motive is always GREED or they would have done their best to do as little damage as possible, but their entire lineup is going to products with fewer ports and FORCING overpriced technology like Thunderbolt down people's throats and tell them to buy freaking expensive "can't wait to lose them" ADAPTERS instead to get basic functionality restored on things that people still actually use. Where are all the Mini Display Port monitors? Where are all the reasonably priced Thunderbolt products? Where are ANY Thunderbolt products? NO ONE WANTS this technology yet Apple in their glorious genius has decided to cram them down their loyal users throats anyway. Two lousy USB 3.0 ports on a Retina Macbook Pro that CANNOT seem to use any USB 3.0 DOCKS. WHAT KIND OF A FRAKING GENIUS came up with that hardware???

Yeah, sorry, but Apple's motives are to make money and making money to Apple always seems to mean using non-standards and charging a fortune to license and/or use their standard that no one else uses from serial port printers to Firewire on early iPods to holding back USB 2.0 and then 3.0 to making first Mini Display Port and then MIXING it with Light Peak (and getting exclusive rights to it for a year when that's the LAST thing you should do to get a widespread 'standard' going), they've ensured that NO ONE will EVER use these devices.

Apple's ONLY truly popular (as opposed to "profitable" which they manage through high prices and no competition for hardware) product lines have been the iPod and iPhone/iPad lines. They now seem DETERMINED to turn those lines into an OS9 Vs. Windows situation once again only this time it is Android that will eventually through sheer numbers wipe Apple down from its high place back to earth and eventual bankruptcy in the long run if they don't stop making stupid decisions that alienate existing users in the name of a few extra bucks. Their stock has already plummeted from its high and is well on its way back to where it started from.

Lightning's ONLY benefit over the 30-pin connector is SIZE. And it's just not THAT big of a deal. The iPhone5 is a larger device and the connector on the bottom takes up horizontal space along the bottom edge for the most part. Showing width doesn't tell much of a story. As I've pointed out several times now (and which all of you blathering on keep ignoring) is that iOS devices have moved to WiFi Syncs and THAT is a MUCH better partial solution to Apple's problems. Having a WIRELESS charger/sync with induction is a FAR better idea for a next generation interface than this lightning cable. And THAT is a FAR better idea than Lightning or Micro-USB.

Doing a simple search has turned up this:

http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/...rtable-devices

It's obvious that SOMEONE at Apple (clearly smarter than the people who made the decision for the Lightning connector) has the right idea, but someone in upper management decided on an interim solution that benefits exactly NO ONE.

Phil Schiller's response, however is a bad one given that the lighting cable has to ALSO be plugged into either a USB port or an outlet (for charging only). A charging mat or plate being plugged in is NO different what-so-ever, but hotels and airports and coffee shops could offer them instead of USB cables and you would then need NO WIRES what-so-ever. THAT is the future, not more cables in the age of wireless.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 01:44 PM   #137
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Can we stop with the conjecture/editorial opinion being reported as fact? To my knowledge, Apple has never publicly discussed why it's gone down this strict path with Lightning accessories. People who are more skeptical and less doe-eyed than author Jordan Golson apparently is would think that, even if end user experience was important to Apple, the increased licensing revenue from maintaining such tight control is not a "side-effect" but a primary motive for Apple (after all, if Apple was only concerned with making sure devices work well together, it doesn't have to charge a licensing fee at all, it can just test and reject poor products). I happen to believe that revenue is a big reason for Apple's approach to Lightning licensing - as is quality control - but I also know that's conjecture on my part - I don't try to pretend I've read Tim Cook's mind.

More broadly, Jordan Golson has a habit of writing his own opinions as fact in many of his writeups. It's irritating, it makes Macrumors more a fanboy Apple cheerleading site than an operation run by folks who have a respect for Apple but also willing to call a spade a spade when it needs to. If Golson insists on adding his personal opinion to a story, he should use the word "may" - "Apple may want to ensure that users have the best experience possible by only allowing approved third-party accessories to be used with new iOS devices." It would still be debatable but at least it would be clearer that it's the author's opinion and not a well-known fact that everyone accepts is true. See how easy it is?



Apple has never said that's the reason, this is the author's own spin/opinion/editorial that he passes off as if it's a fact. The responsibility for this nonsense lies with Macrumors, not Apple.
I really laughed at this, seriously what other reason could apple have? pretty much all other phones use standard usb and they work just fine.
Of course Apple will not come out and say heyyy we are doing this to make extra cash duhhhh! Sometimes you have to open your eyes and see it for what it is, give it a try sometime!
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 01:50 PM   #138
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I really laughed at this, seriously what other reason could apple have? pretty much all other phones use standard usb and they work just fine.
Of course Apple will not come out and say heyyy we are doing this to make extra cash duhhhh! Sometimes you have to open your eyes and see it for what it is, give it a try sometime!
Again, 'standard usb' does NOT provide the same level of functionality with accessories as Apple's proprietary cables. Not even close.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 04:10 PM   #139
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lightning vs micro usb

I just charge my iphone 5 with the new connector, everything else is wireless.

The lightning connector is a much more positive physical connection than the 30 pin iPod legacy and a billion times better physical connection than the micro usb garbage that my kids have got on their Nokias and Samsungs. That was the main attribute given at launch and in my mind is the main benefit. Yup it is sucky USB slow on a hard wired itunes sync, but then so is micro-USB.

The cable was free with my iphone 5. What is the lather about ?
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 05:18 PM   #140
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WTF does a mechanical engineer have to do with an electronic engineering project? I AM an electronic engineer, BTW. YOU obviously don't know WTF you're talking about by that statement ALONE.

You really shouldn't talk about things you know NOTHING about. I was soldering 9-pin serial ports to make custom Atari joystick cables before you were born, most likely.
Haha, you're an EE, huh? All right then. Let's talk. I lost my handmade Atari 2600 ROM copier in move decades ago, so perhaps you misjudge my age.

Your entire argument hinges on your opinion that every connector change is just to suck in more money from customers and screw you over. And your primary use case for the connector is charging because you could wireless charge and sync.

If you're in the business, you get paid yeah? Consider your salary. Engineers like us cost money, yeah? Is it seriously worth it to waste company time and burn good will to pay people to make bogus connectors solely to try to make some sort term profit? Of course not.

Lightning is a customer win in the long run.

For a start, what's the current spec for microUSB? Happen to know? More, less, or equal to 10W?

If your "microUSB plus" idea is as good as it sounds, why hasn't anybody done it? Oh, because it might look totally confusing to common folk because it looks like microUSB3? (an atrocity in and of itself?)
Or because it means now we have to make custom connectors for a non industry standard, and route two sets of power lines crossed over with data lines on a PCB? (that's going to be fun times if you're in a higher humidity environment... like say... US East Coast or South East Asia.)

Great, so now you're telling us that Apple should make a expensive non-standard connector, that's larger, more fragile, and harder to route board with. Oh, and harder to assemble. And then gouge you for the cost of more custom connectors on cables. Wonderful idea.

Have you seen the other companies?

And.... now you're also locking us into USB2.0 forever because moving from USB2 to USB3 will require all accessories to adopt yet another new non-industry standard connector that you'll release in 2 years. Right?

If you think this means cheap cables, you forgot that connectors cost money to manufacturer, and they're dependent on both the manufacturing costs and volume. You suggested a non standard connector which is a wider version of microUSB. Which lose in both of those categories.

And your accessory developers? Telling us we should use USB as the protocol? Did you realize that you just upped the cost requirement by not allowing us to use dirt cheap MCUs? Now we're required to get more expensive MCUs which all have a USB host or device port and a crystal in order to talk to the phone. Can't even get the cheapest Atmel because you'll spend most of the RAM/Flash on the USB stack. If you thought $5 or whatever for the authentication chips from Apple was too much money, you're picking instead to have all the accessory developers hire out more engineers to debug USB negotiation problems and out of memory errors on MCUs. Blown budgets galore.

About wireless charging? Got a Nexus 4 handy? Got one of LG's inductive pads? I DO. (well at least my woman does) In her words, "what does this flickering battery indicator mean and how do I fix it?" Hell if I know or care. I'm just glad it was a gift from her brother.

Besides, how does wireless charging fix the accessory issue? Oh right, you're probably going to bring up Bluetooth, right? Been there, done that. Instead of "gouging" my consumers for $5 in ID chips, now I have to invest in RF engineers for BT antennas and tack on a second coprocessor to handle BT. Fun stuff. There goes another $10 onto the price tag.

Seriously, how does any of your complaints get solved by your solutions?

I'm all for making improvements and finding good ideas. But if you can't find any viable solutions, then stop complaining and help the rest us come up with good ideas to suggest.

Meanwhile, I'll keep having to order 3 different kinds of SMT microUSB connectors to replace my friends' broken Android docks. But hey, they bring do me nice beer.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 05:31 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
Long rant... Lot's of shouting...
Despite your long, shouty rant, I have a hard time believing you are looking at things objectively from any sort of EE, CE or ME point of view (any of which might be relevant when considering a new device interface). If you do have any sort of engineering background, then you should clearly see why the 30-pin dock connector was becoming problematic and precisely how the Lightning connector sets about solving those issues. If you had any background in economics or business, you wouldn't have said half of the things you did in the first place.

The USB Micro-AB receptacle, along with the latest USB OTG and charging specs, MHL 2.0 and various other non-standard kludges are technically capable of performing the same functions as Lightning or the venerable 30-pin dock connector, but in practice that is simply not borne out. Even though mobile devices with USB Micro-AB ports have out-shipped those with Apple's proprietary 30-pin dock connector for several years now, the existing accessory markets for the two are not even remotely comparable. Apple created the 30-pin dock connector accessory market all by themselves, full-stop. Why would they suddenly throw control of that market away by switching to the same connector currently used by all of their competitors? MFi licensees may have been irritated by the timing of Lightning's release, the inability to bring new accessories to market in time for the holidays, or the sense of favoritism by Apple. However, they continued to have access to the 30-pin dock connector market which expanded considerably during the 4th quarter, access to an entirely new market which already has some 50 million potential customers, and for some, distribution in one of the top retail stores in the world. It's not exactly time to cue the violins here, and that certainly wasn't what Mophie was going for with their statements.

The original article here merely points out something not terribly surprising: the Lightning connectors destined for MFi licensees coming from Apple's approved sources contain an EPROM storing a unique ID number. This in no way implies anything particularly nefarious; they might simply be used by Apple for quality control purposes. Yes, it also means that if an MFi licensee turns around and sells a bunch of their connectors on eBay that Apple might be able to figure out where they came from. Apple is founded on the principles of tight integration and retaining as much control as possible over the user experience. Whether you agree with it or not, it has worked out quite well for them in the mobile device space. The MFi program flourished under Apple's control using the proprietary 30-pin dock connector, and I see no reason why it shouldn't continue to do so using their new proprietary Lightning connector. Not much has actually changed, you've just suddenly become aware that Apple is pulling the strings, but they've been doing that all along.

Your take on the economics of this situation is the most baffling. Apple has sold more than half a billion devices that use the the 30-pin dock connector and continued to sell several per second right through the past quarter. The market for and usefulness of 30-pin accessories is far from ending any time soon. If Apple updating their own proprietary connector once after 9 years is effing everybody over, then you have a warped sense of what that means, or you've never looked at your wireless or cable bill. I just don't understand how people see this as a "money grab" by Apple, when not one single person has presented any evidence that Apple's net income has been increased one dime as a result of their switch to Lightning. If you can, go for it. Show me the numbers.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 12:39 AM   #142
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Your entire argument hinges on your opinion that every connector change is just to suck in more money from customers and screw you over.
It does that to everyone regardless of their intent. I'm not a mind reader as to who suggested what at Apple. However, I do know a company with $137 BILLION in cold hard petty cash can afford to offer REASONABLY PRICED adapters. $29 is NOT reasonable PERIOD and I'm a robot from the future if you think they're not making money on their adapters (especially given how much cheaper they are from everyone else on the planet, particularly when they're not licensed).

Where I work, keeping things running is 10x more important than the costs of doing something the right way rather than trying to save a few dollars. I'm not into the business end or cost effective design. I do know when something causes a big disruption, though and lighting causes real problems across the board for compatibility and costs for the user. It seems to me that problem is bigger than the size of the connector, especially given how well they've managed to make devices smaller than the iPhone5 using the old connector. Perhaps they could have shrunk it down a bit with a redesign than ditching it entirely? Or perhaps they could have made the device slightly larger and threw in some gamepad buttons (since iOS has become so popular for gaming and using ONLY touch sucks for certain types of games and greatly limits them).

Either way, I think they could have made due for a few more years until they implemented their patent on inductive charging/syncing that could potentially replace all cables (save on the charger, which when placed at hotels, airports, etc.) would mean no cables needed for the user. Lighting strikes me as a mere stop-gap and a very disruptive one at that.

At the VERY least they could have offered the adapters at cost or even eaten part of it (e.g. include ONE with the new devices for now!) to keep their users happy rather than potentially driving them away to the Android market. Apple has over $137 BILLION in cash and so that's not asking much, IMO. Giving $40+ Billion back to the shareholders helps no one but the shareholders (likely rich already anyway if that move helps them significantly).

I don't care for micro-usb given the market saturation of 30-pin devices, but given its penetration with Android and even more so in Europe with virtually all devices, it is less disruptive. The power charging problem is only with the iPad and that device is large enough to have more than one connector on it. In fact, it could keep the 30-pin port no problem. But Apple wants to disrupt EVERYTHING by forcing everything to move to the new connector even though it actually does LESS than the 30-pin one (loss of analog audio/video signals).

In fact, if they weren't so obsessed with total THINNESS they could have USB 3.0 ports and plugging in accessories TO the iPad would become so much simpler. I don't think they WANT the user to be able to use the device in that manner, though. They'd rather sell specialty products at very high costs or the iPad would have offered USB ports from day one. Even where there have been USB ports (e.g. Gen1 AppleTV), Apple refused to let people use them for even basic things like adding external hard drives. They don't CARE what the consumer WANTS and Steve Jobs pretty much said this many times.

Quote:
Lightning is a customer win in the long run.
I maintain it will be just as useless in ten years as the 30-pin connector because other than freeing up space, I'm aware of nothing that has increased its capabilities over the 30-pin design. I see space savings with a complicated expensive connector that creates a rift between existing devices and new ones.

You argue that 30-pin devices will keep selling because there's a lot out there, but they're now obsolete so how is that a good use of money for a hotel, for example? They're in a bad place because there aren't enough of the new devices to warrant buying a new dock/radio/whatever and yet there is NO adapter for older devices to work in a newer lightning only dock. I mean you want to argue costs, but apparently this only applies to the manufacturing side and what's best for Apple? They've got more money than god at this point. They can afford to make more consumer friendly decisions.

Quote:
If your "microUSB plus" idea is as good as it sounds, why hasn't anybody done it?
Because no one saw a real need for such a thing until now???

It IS possible to design a shape that uses standard cables for one set of rules and an extra notch with more pins for something newer (i.e. the newer cable will only fit the newer shape, but the older connector still fits the newer connector but doesn't extend into the molded extra space (e.g. if you had a "-" shaped connector, you could make a "+" shaped connector where the new pins are on the "|" portion with a height difference so the old connector can't possibly fit turned sideways. Micro-USB is pretty odd shaped as it is, but the bottom edge could possibly be extended. The new connector would simply need to be backwards compatible in the old mode only.

The point here isn't that some people wouldn't need the new cable. The point is that the old cables will still have most of their uses in a pinch. If you're at a friend's house, you can still sync/charge your device even if it takes longer. No, it's not ideal. Neither is Lightning, however since NO ONE had it until it was released. I think a simple free adapter with the new devices would have gone a LONG way to appeasing users, though. That would at least allow them to use them in existing accessories without an onerous $29 fee.

Quote:
Great, so now you're telling us that Apple should make a expensive non-standard connector, that's larger, more fragile, and harder to route board with. Oh, and harder to assemble. And then gouge you for the cost of more custom connectors on cables. Wonderful idea.
Gee, that sounds like Lighting to me, more or less.

The consumer could still use existing micro-usb cables in a pinch. Only the iPad would need more power and it's got room for a second connector (e.g. the 30-pin one).

Quote:
And.... now you're also locking us into USB2.0 forever because moving from USB2 to USB3 will require all accessories to adopt yet another new non-industry standard connector that you'll release in 2 years. Right?
How so? It would use the Plus connector. The whole idea is that existing cables would work for most functions in a pinch (e.g. while traveling in Europe for example where micro-usb is everywhere and where in fact Apple is going to sell YET ANOTHER ADAPTER for Lighting-To-MicroUSB) whereas I don't think I'll find a lightning dock anywhere right now. I mean that IS the main reason people are complaining about not using micro-usb, right? That they want to use existing widespread connectors/cables, especially for charging.

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And your accessory developers? Telling us we should use USB as the protocol? Did you realize that you just upped the cost requirement by not allowing us to use dirt cheap MCUs? Now we're required to get more expensive MCUs which all have a USB host or device port and a crystal in order to talk to the phone. Can't even get the cheapest Atmel because you'll spend most of the RAM/Flash on the USB stack. If you thought $5 or whatever for the authentication chips from Apple was too much money, you're picking instead to have all the accessory developers hire out more engineers to debug USB negotiation problems and out of memory errors on MCUs. Blown budgets galore.
Ah. So it's okay for the consumer to screwed with $29 flipping adapters (you can get an iPod Shuffle for $49 for goodness sake!) but the accessory people might have to spend an extra $5 for their $100 clock radio? How horrible. Ask me how many iOS docks/radios I own. ZERO. I use WiFi with my existing Mac and AppleTV setup. It may be more expensive than cheap radios (although many aren't even CLOSE to cheap despite tinny god awful speakers), but I get real HiFi sound in all my rooms.

Quote:
About wireless charging? Got a Nexus 4 handy? Got one of LG's inductive pads? I DO. (well at least my woman does) In her words, "what does this flickering battery indicator mean and how do I fix it?" Hell if I know or care. I'm just glad it was a gift from her brother.
Gee, what happened to the technical argument? Induction is a pretty reliable thing in physics. Just because their charger is crap, they're all crap or that it's a bad move for the future?

Quote:
Besides, how does wireless charging fix the accessory issue? Oh right, you're
Wireless charging? I suggested wireless syncing AND charging and if you look at Apple's patent, that is what they are thinking too. Cost? Everything costs more at first. I suggested they should keep the 30-pin for a few more years while developing the inductive sync/charge technology. Lighting is obviously a stop-gap and a disruptive one at that.

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I'm all for making improvements and finding good ideas. But if you can't find any viable solutions, then stop complaining and help the rest us come up with good ideas to suggest.
I've got two GREAT solutions. Keep the 30-pin and move to inductive in the future. Oh wait. Too late (as is everything in this discussion since Apple already made their decision).

However, the idea that Apple could simply sell adapters at cost or even at a loss given their ungodly amounts of cold hard cash to keep consumers happy rather than cheese them off and drive them over to Android isn't such a bad idea at all, IMO. Either way, Lightning still breaks the ecosystem and the adapters are very expensive and are one direction only (i.e. you won't be able to use a 30-pin device on a lighting accessory in the future).
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 05:03 AM   #143
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 06:44 AM   #144
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I just recently traded in my old 4G iPod nano (which was having battery charging issues) with a new 7G iPod nano.

I can say this right now: all the griping against the Lightning connector is WAY overblown. I like the fact the connector is not directionally keyed, maintains a tight grip when connected, and definitely looks way more durable than the current-style MicroUSB connector. (That's why I am very careful connecting the USB charging cable to my Samsung Galaxy S III.) Also, if you car stereo's iPod connector is a true USB port (like on my 2012 Honda Fit Sport hatchback), the car stereo can still fully control the iPod with no problems.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 10:30 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
However, I do know a company with $137 BILLION in cold hard petty cash can afford to offer REASONABLY PRICED adapters. $29 is NOT reasonable PERIOD and I'm a robot from the future if you think they're not making money on their adapters...
Take a minute and read through this.

Some people on this board would have you believe that Apple sold 50 million devices with Lightning connectors last quarter, and that every person who bought one also purchased an extra cable and an adapter (combined ASP $43, but only cost Apple $2 to make), resulting in $2.05B additional profit for Apple. Apple reported net income of $13.078B last quarter, and some would say that an astonishing 15.7% was a result of their Lightning driven cash grab.

If you look at their actual earnings statement though, Apple only reported net sales of $1.829B worth of accessories total. While this was an increase of 24.6% over the year ago quarter, unit sales were up 19.6% even with the struggling Mac and iPod divisions. So if we held Apple's gains in accessories to growth linear with that of their unit sales, we'd see they netted an additional $73.4M potentially attributable to Lightning. Even if that was 100% profit, which is highly unlikely, it would represent 0.56% of their net income for the quarter.

Does Apple make profit off of cables and adapters? Yes. Are they profiting excessively in the case of Lightning? It would appear not. What I do see is dramatically reduced ASPs and margins in the iPad division, their second largest.

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(especially given how much cheaper they are from everyone else on the planet, particularly when they're not licensed).

Where I work, keeping things running is 10x more important than the costs of doing something the right way rather than trying to save a few dollars.
I love the fact that you followed the one statement with the other. So are cheap unlicensed knock-offs with zero warranty the "right way" to do things or just "trying to save a few dollars"? Have you looked at any of the teardowns of the knock-off cables to see what you're paying for? http://www.cultofmac.com/199068/3-50...s-youd-expect/

Quote:
I'm not into the business end or cost effective design. I do know when something causes a big disruption, though and lighting causes real problems across the board for compatibility and costs for the user. It seems to me that problem is bigger than the size of the connector, especially given how well they've managed to make devices smaller than the iPhone5 using the old connector.
If people were just concerned with avoiding disruption, there'd still be millions of folks using Windows XP. Oh, wait... There are. There are also hundreds of millions of people using devices with the 30-pin dock connector. If you don't want the disruption of switching to Lightning, buy a 4 or 4S, not the device with the new proprietary connector that has only been on the market for a couple months. Early adoption and disruption kind of go hand in hand most of the time.

Quote:
Either way, I think they could have made due for a few more years until they implemented their patent on inductive charging/syncing that could potentially replace all cables (save on the charger, which when placed at hotels, airports, etc.) would mean no cables needed for the user. Lighting strikes me as a mere stop-gap and a very disruptive one at that.
Inductive charging is not as efficient as using a cable. When you are one of the world's largest publicly traded companies, you have to answer for things such as environmental impact. If I came to you and said here is a wireless solution you can implement that within 2 years will cause 6% of the world's population to use 20% more energy for something they do every day, would you go ahead and green light that? Steve Jobs hated cables. He would have been the first to switch everybody to inductive and wireless if there weren't serious considerations against doing so.

Furthermore, you still need a physical sync port, because wireless sync only functions if the software stack that drives it can load properly. Sometimes you need a physical port to un-brick a device. That's why there's a USB port on Apple TVs, for service and diagnostic use.

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At the VERY least they could have offered the adapters at cost or even eaten part of it (e.g. include ONE with the new devices for now!) to keep their users happy rather than potentially driving them away to the Android market.
This will blow your mind, but there are still a significant percentage of iDevice buyers who don't own any 30-pin dock connector gear. This would make that adapter a waste of money and resources for Apple, make the devices more expensive for everybody, or just end up as a monumental pile of e-waste. Once again, would you turn the Earth's natural resources into some 50 million unused adapters annually? And which Android devices offer the promise of a future accessory ecosystem that will be better than Lightning?

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I don't care for micro-usb given the market saturation of 30-pin devices, but given its penetration with Android and even more so in Europe with virtually all devices, it is less disruptive. The power charging problem is only with the iPad and that device is large enough to have more than one connector on it. In fact, it could keep the 30-pin port no problem. But Apple wants to disrupt EVERYTHING by forcing everything to move to the new connector even though it actually does LESS than the 30-pin one (loss of analog audio/video signals).
There is a Lightning to VGA Adapter available if you want to connect an analog display or projector. Part of the move to Lightning was indeed designed to lose some of the legacy baggage of the 30-pin connector. Continuing to support all of the features of the 30-pin connector requires larger and more complex ribbon cables internally, support from the SoC increasing the number of balls and the overall footprint of the chip while reducing valuable edge space for more beneficial functions. Lightning shifts the cost of legacy or seldom used functions to the users who require those functions, and reduces the burden placed on the primary device for everyone.

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You argue that 30-pin devices will keep selling because there's a lot out there, but they're now obsolete so how is that a good use of money for a hotel, for example? They're in a bad place because there aren't enough of the new devices to warrant buying a new dock/radio/whatever and yet there is NO adapter for older devices to work in a newer lightning only dock.
I was at a not terribly large inn the other day and noticed two giant filing boxes behind the front desk labeled "phone chargers". Upon inquiring, the concierge replied, "You wouldn't believe how many people leave these things in their rooms." If this is any indicator of the norm, I'm pretty sure you can walk into pretty much any hotel these days, ask the concierge for a charging cable and just take your pick. I'm sure you could rummage through a few lost and found boxes for a free Lightning adapter if you're so offended by the thought of paying for one.

Seriously, look into the actual engineering behind the Lightning connector; it's pretty cool. It's much smaller than the 30-pin dock connector, has no moving parts and improves ease of insertion. It's a simple post in hole design that appears to be better shielded and more rugged than it's predecessor. It provides dedicated lines for device and accessory power (that's a biggie), and two differential signaling pairs which support multiple signaling modes. This means that when the inevitable shift to SuperSpeed USB happens, Lightning is ready. I'm still very curious as to what type of signaling Apple is using for HDMI output, since it is highly unlikely that they would ever pay tithe to Silicon Image for MHL, and they also seem not to have gone the MyDP route as I had originally suspected. When I have the time and cash I suppose I'll have to tear a few of Apple's AV adapters apart.

Standards like USB are great for the consumer, however they are governed by bodies such as the USB-IF which are comprised of members having multiple distinct interests. Specifications arrived at via consensus of a committee cannot keep pace with the sub 12-month release cycle happening in the mobile device space. If you're Apple, having a strictly controlled proprietary interface that can be rapidly adapted to new applications as the need arises is crucial to remaining competitive. Mangling existing standards and going beyond the spec in various non-standard ways is rarely desirable.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 01:58 PM   #146
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repoman27 answered most of this already better than I would have.

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Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
The power charging problem is only with the iPad and that device is large enough to have more than one connector on it. In fact, it could keep the 30-pin port no problem. But Apple wants to disrupt EVERYTHING by forcing everything to move to the new connector even though it actually does LESS than the 30-pin one (loss of analog audio/video signals).
If you're going to have to migrate your devices to a new standard, there's no point in continuing to design more with the old one. That'd just cause even more fragmentation. Having both Lightning AND 30-pin simultaneously would be awesome, but the amount of work depends on how close they are to having an iOS device with two simultaneously fully functional accessory ports.

Depending on QA time, that probably would have resulted in a much delayed iPad 4th Gen release. What's more important? A6X in iPad or 30-pin connector?

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Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
In fact, if they weren't so obsessed with total THINNESS they could have USB 3.0 ports and plugging in accessories TO the iPad would become so much simpler. I don't think they WANT the user to be able to use the device in that manner, though. They'd rather sell specialty products at very high costs or the iPad would have offered USB ports from day one. Even where there have been USB ports (e.g. Gen1 AppleTV), Apple refused to let people use them for even basic things like adding external hard drives. They don't CARE what the consumer WANTS and Steve Jobs pretty much said this many times.
No.
1) USB3.0 has much more bandwidth than most ARM chips and their NAND packages support. There's literally no reason to put USB3 on an ARM device at the current moment if you want more than a few percentage points of increased performance. All it does is increase cost with practically no gain.
2) A USB port on an iPad would imply to people that anything USB could be plugged in, which hurts usability and increases confusion amongst the masses. There is no easy way for them to allow app developers the ability to add drivers to the USB stack, because that'd require kernel access, which breaks security.

Meaning: a USB port on iPad would only allow for MIDI, usb keyboard, and flash card readers/camera downloads. (whatever the camera dongle supports) Nothing else. It'd also hurt the structural integrity of the iPad because it's close to the same thickness of the ipad. With leverage from a usb plug, you'd be able to crack the screen from the underside. Not a win.

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Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
You argue that 30-pin devices will keep selling because there's a lot out there, but they're now obsolete so how is that a good use of money for a hotel, for example? They're in a bad place because there aren't enough of the new devices to warrant buying a new dock/radio/whatever and yet there is NO adapter for older devices to work in a newer lightning only dock. I mean you want to argue costs, but apparently this only applies to the manufacturing side and what's best for Apple? They've got more money than god at this point. They can afford to make more consumer friendly decisions.
Having more money than god doesn't mean we have the right to demand they hand it out to us for free.
It's their money, they do what they want with it. Likewise, we do what we want with our money.

If you're an accessory designer, it's cheaper and easier to design your docks and such to work firstly with the 30-pin devices, and then accomodate the rest using the lightning adapters. You reach the maximum audience, you leverage your existing design knowledge, and you can choose when to move from 30-pin to lightning because you know your audience best.

Yeah, it sucks for mophie because they need to design a battery case that's as slim as possible for the iPhone 5. But for dock makers like Philips, Bose, and for funky accessory makers like GoPoint, going 30-pin is still a win for them. It's not like they don't have options. Some of them might find going BTLE turns out to win them more sales despite the cost.

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Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
It IS possible to design a shape that uses standard cables for one set of rules and an extra notch with more pins for something newer (i.e. the newer cable will only fit the newer shape, but the older connector still fits the newer connector but doesn't extend into the molded extra space (e.g. if you had a "-" shaped connector, you could make a "+" shaped connector where the new pins are on the "|" portion with a height difference so the old connector can't possibly fit turned sideways. Micro-USB is pretty odd shaped as it is, but the bottom edge could possibly be extended. The new connector would simply need to be backwards compatible in the old mode only.

The point here isn't that some people wouldn't need the new cable. The point is that the old cables will still have most of their uses in a pinch. If you're at a friend's house, you can still sync/charge your device even if it takes longer. No, it's not ideal. Neither is Lightning, however since NO ONE had it until it was released. I think a simple free adapter with the new devices would have gone a LONG way to appeasing users, though. That would at least allow them to use them in existing accessories without an onerous $29 fee.
Oh, you meant that direction. Like the Nook Color. (the link is in my old post)
Mechanically, microUSB is pretty bad. Extending it to be longer with a 2nd set of pins increases the length which means the pressure against both the ends of the cable as well as the connector would result in pretty bad reliability. How do I know this? I guessed. Then googled and I read the reviews.
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/nook...phalt/23055743

And then you're hosed when it comes to USB3. Because not only are you adding more pins for power, you're adding 4 more data lines at the most unreliable part of the connector.

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Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
Gee, what happened to the technical argument? Induction is a pretty reliable thing in physics. Just because their charger is crap, they're all crap or that it's a bad move for the future?
Anything in device physics and lower is my weak area.
Induction is pretty reliable, as you say. As repoman27 said, it's not that efficient.
But the other problem is that while the actual energy transfer mechanism is easy to understand, it's the current negotiation that's the problem.
How does your device ask the charger how much current it can provide?
Or rather, how do you do it reliably? Qi hasn't exactly panned out as a good product family.

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Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
I've got two GREAT solutions. Keep the 30-pin and move to inductive in the future. Oh wait. Too late (as is everything in this discussion since Apple already made their decision).
When you move to inductive, what happened to all the audio docks?
Or rather, anything that needs to transfer data?
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 03:00 PM   #147
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When you move to inductive, what happened to all the audio docks?
Or rather, anything that needs to transfer data?
Have you heard of Airdrop in OSX? Toss in a modern WiFi chip and you can negotiate directly to another device wirelessly. There's also Bluetooth for audio. If a cheap pair of headphones can do it, a Bose Radio can do it. Besides, Airplay is one of the better features Apple has offered in recent years. Who wants to tie their device (which is also their remote for music, etc.) directly to the device if they can use it from across the room? Plugging in an iPhone or iPod Touch directly by 30-pin to a radio at a hotel is nice for wireless charging and sleeping by music, but when I'm up, I prefer to keep it in my pocket.

If Apple would have included a free adapter for the first two years, I think much of the hard feelings could have been avoided. No one wants to buy a $29 adapter just so they can use the same accessories from the past ten years. The cable is only $19 by comparison. The adapter should be in the sub $20 range. Write it off to marketing/publicity. The last thing Apple should be doing is trying to encourage people to move to Android. I know several people at work that HAD an iPhone and have since moved to Android now that their contract is up.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 03:25 PM   #148
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Again, 'standard usb' does NOT provide the same level of functionality with accessories as Apple's proprietary cables. Not even close.
ok what functionality is it you want to do with a phone? is the 1% of the people with special need good enough reason to make such a "stupid" decision.

I also use my Galaxy S3 and its very convenient to not carry a special cable just for charging or connecting to my car.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 08:36 PM   #149
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ok what functionality is it you want to do with a phone? is the 1% of the people with special need good enough reason to make such a "stupid" decision.

I also use my Galaxy S3 and its very convenient to not carry a special cable just for charging or connecting to my car.
That functionality is what makes possible the huge variety of docks, radios, car stereo integrations, and all sorts of other accessories that you don't find with Android. I guarantee you that way more than 1% of users take advantage of that functionality. The stupid decision is that Android hasn't been able to standardize on something better.
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Old Feb 21, 2013, 01:25 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
Have you heard of Airdrop in OSX? Toss in a modern WiFi chip and you can negotiate directly to another device wirelessly. There's also Bluetooth for audio. If a cheap pair of headphones can do it, a Bose Radio can do it. Besides, Airplay is one of the better features Apple has offered in recent years. Who wants to tie their device (which is also their remote for music, etc.) directly to the device if they can use it from across the room? Plugging in an iPhone or iPod Touch directly by 30-pin to a radio at a hotel is nice for wireless charging and sleeping by music, but when I'm up, I prefer to keep it in my pocket.

If Apple would have included a free adapter for the first two years, I think much of the hard feelings could have been avoided. No one wants to buy a $29 adapter just so they can use the same accessories from the past ten years. The cable is only $19 by comparison. The adapter should be in the sub $20 range. Write it off to marketing/publicity. The last thing Apple should be doing is trying to encourage people to move to Android. I know several people at work that HAD an iPhone and have since moved to Android now that their contract is up.
A modern WiFi chipset, a bluetooth chipset, and USB host/device controllers are all more expensive options.
Would you rather all accessories be $29 more instead of cheaper docks and buying 1 $29 adapter?
Doesn't make good sense to me from a consumer point of view.

As for including a free adapter, they won't because not everybody has accessories. It's a waste of resources.
I'm not saying it wouldn't be a nice gesture. In fact, I would have thought it'd be awesome to have a free adapter.
But really, most of them would go to waste. How many people with original iPhones used their included dock? I saw only 2 in it's entire life cycle. You said you don't have docks. Neither do I. Neither do most people. As repoman27 mentioned, somebody could easily spin it as bad environmental PR.

On the other hand, if every iPhone serial number could submit a request to get a single 30-pin adapter, then we've solved several of the problems.

Personally, I don't care if people move to Android. Most of them I know who did switched back the next time around, or within 2 weeks. People SHOULD get whatever device serves them best.
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