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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Peter from Double Helix Cables has made a guest post on Gizmodo showing his work to tear down Apple's new Lightning to 30-pin Adapter that began shipping earlier this week. Apple has come under a fair amount of criticism for charging $29 for the basic adapter and $39 for one with a short cable, but Peter notes that based on the electronics inside and the durability of the adapter, the company may have good reason for its pricing.

lightning_adapter_teardown.jpg
Apple's Lightning connector uses a controller chip to dynamically assign functionalities to the eight pins found in the connector, enabling it to adapt to different situations. The Lightning to 30-pin Adapter is no exception, containing several chips required to allow that flexible functionality to be passed through to devices using the old dock connector design.
The chips look unfamiliar, but with the same metal finish and some have lasered text. They all appear to be custom and trying to figure out what does what is fruitless. I really took this apart for the DIY community to ascertain if the DAC [digital-to-analog converter] in this thing is actually good, but it's quite unclear. It's probably some integrated audio circuitry in a larger processing chip, that's how these things tend to be done now. One of the chips reads Apple on it with a very long serial number. Another reads 8533 23AP CAB.
Peter notes that underneath the plastic shell of the adapter is a significant amount of metal and glue holding the device together and providing strength and durability. The construction makes the adapter extremely difficult to crack open and does not bode well for those seeking to modify the adapter to add functionality.
I really had high hopes that I could get into this thing and attach an audio output cable, but I should have known better. This thing is even more fearsomely reinforced than the Lightning USB cord, by a factor of 10, surely to thwart those that want to hack it, and also so that it cannot break easily. Nobody should balk at paying $29 for this after they see what is inside, though.
Despite the complexity of the adapter evidenced its $29 price tag, integrated electronics, and sturdy construction, the device has also been receiving criticism for incompatibility with a number of accessories. Users have been reporting mixed results in using the adapter with their 30-pin accessories, and users hoping to plug in the adapter with a case on their iPhone 5 may find that the adapter's bulk prevents it from working with all but the thinnest cases or cases with nearly fully open bottom edges. As a result users with cases on their iPhones may prefer to opt for the more expensive cable-equipped adapter that uses a standard-sized Lightning connector assembly rather than embedding the connector directly into the bulky adapter.

Article Link: Apple's Lightning to 30-Pin Adapter Torn Apart, Reveals Several Chips and Copious Glue
 

Medic311

macrumors 68000
Jul 30, 2011
1,658
58
"Nobody should balk at paying $29 for this after they see what is inside, though."

Why shouldn't they?



On a side note:
Icon for Thunderbolt Port = Lightening rod
Icon for Lightening Port = [ - ]
 
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iRCL

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2011
284
0
This thing is even more fearsomely reinforced than the Lightning USB cord, by a factor of 10, surely to thwart those that want to hack it, and also so that it cannot break easily

Yeah, because when Apple designs a connector, they're planning to "thwart those who want to hack it"

What a completely ignorant statement, made by someone who obviously thinks the world revolves around cables, or revolves around people who care about "hacking" connectors.

Also if he cared about how good the DAC was he could have just run sine waves through it and directly measured THD or whatever.


Well at least this total BS article will fit in well over on gizmodo
 

Navdakilla

macrumors 65816
Feb 3, 2011
1,100
13
Canada
its gonna be a couple of years before these cords will be everywhere. Not a fan of only having one to carry around as of now.

(I had about 5 30 pin connectors all throught my house and bags, so I could easily charge/sync my devices)
 

dmishe

macrumors newbie
Oct 12, 2011
11
0
"Nobody should balk at paying $29 for this after they see what is inside, though."

Why shouldn't they?

What has the Lightening port done for the consumer?

Made the device smaller and lighter, added a possibility of future inputs/outputs and quicker charging.
 

LordVic

Cancelled
Sep 7, 2011
5,938
12,456
Yeah, because when Apple designs a connector, they're planning to "thwart those who want to hack it"

What a completely ignorant statement, made by someone who obviously thinks the world revolves around cables, or revolves around people who care about "hacking" connectors.

Also if he cared about how good the DAC was he could have just run sine waves through it and directly measured THD or whatever.


Well at least this total BS article will fit in well over on gizmodo

Actually,

Apple has a history of making proprietary connectors and devices with the intention of being able to control 3rd party market.

The Original dock connector was an example of this. once the 3rd party market had no problem replicating it in full, Apple went as far as to add DRM to video output blocking all non apple certified dock cables from using video output, preventing the use of 3rd party video devices from using the video source of the iphone / ipod.

Apple has also in many cases used software updates to block and prevent furhter modifications of their devices, such as updates to itunes and iOS to block and prevent jailbreaking of devices.

I firmly believe that Apple absolutely takes into account how "hackable" their products might be and puts their best efforts into designing around prevention. Apple has always been about controlling their ecosystem.
 

griffd

macrumors newbie
Sep 16, 2006
27
2
Orlando, FL
"Nobody should balk at paying $29 for this after they see what is inside, though."

Why shouldn't they?

What has the Lightening port done for the consumer?

They made a better device that simply would not have been possible with the 30-pin connector. Quit your whining. There are other options for people like you.
 

Luckybobby

macrumors regular
Aug 26, 2011
104
0
I only had 2 working 30 pin cables left, one for my bedroom and one for the car.
I'm glad that apple has made a new adapter so that I can restock on my cables :)
 

Qfic

macrumors member
Oct 28, 2011
74
0
Actually,

I firmly believe that Apple absolutely takes into account how "hackable" their products might be and puts their best efforts into designing around prevention. Apple has always been about controlling their ecosystem.

Which ironically makes it all the more fun to hack!
 

stevegt87

macrumors newbie
Jan 23, 2005
16
1
Florida
"Nobody should balk at paying $29 for this after they see what is inside, though."

Why shouldn't they?

What has the Lightening port done for the consumer?

Well there are a few consumer benefits of the lightning connector.
1) Easier to connect (can't be upside down).
2) Smaller.
3) Allows the headphone jack to move to the bottom (where it belongs).

Really, its the kind of refinement and planned obsolescence that I've come to expect from Apple. Remember the floppy drive, ADB or SCSI ports.
 

lilo777

macrumors 603
Nov 25, 2009
5,144
0
I only had 2 working 30 pin cables left, one for my bedroom and one for the car.
I'm glad that apple has made a new adapter so that I can restock on my cables :)

I am running out of space for storing USB cables. They are cheap as dirt and come with every device. I think my problem is better than yours. ;)
 

Krevnik

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2003
3,975
1,170
Apple has also in many cases used software updates to block and prevent furhter modifications of their devices, such as updates to itunes and iOS to block and prevent jailbreaking of devices.

This jumps out as being thrown in for the hell of it and not exactly relevant to the point you are trying to make.

Jailbreaking bypasses the security model. If you can jailbreak it, you can exploit it for nefarious purposes as well.

Should Apple allow more control over what the user can or can't install with iOS (a la Gatekeeper)? You could argue that.

Should Apple leave security holes in place for any purpose? No.
 

NYhaven

macrumors newbie
Sep 13, 2012
15
0
Who actually thought they would be able to use a case with this adapter? :dumbfounded:
 

neiltc13

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2006
3,119
12
Well there are a few consumer benefits of the lightning connector.
1) Easier to connect (can't be upside down).
2) Smaller.
3) Allows the headphone jack to move to the bottom (where it belongs).

Really, its the kind of refinement and planned obsolescence that I've come to expect from Apple. Remember the floppy drive, ADB or SCSI ports.

These are benefits of a smaller connector, not specifically the Lightning connector. Apple could have used micro USB and every consumer would be better off.
 

tbrinkma

macrumors 68000
Apr 24, 2006
1,651
93
This jumps out as being thrown in for the hell of it and not exactly relevant to the point you are trying to make.

Jailbreaking bypasses the security model. If you can jailbreak it, you can exploit it for nefarious purposes as well.

Should Apple allow more control over what the user can or can't install with iOS (a la Gatekeeper)? You could argue that.

Should Apple leave security holes in place for any purpose? No.

Agreed. I still find it odd that the *loudest* complaints about any of the 'jailbreak breaking' security fixes were for the one that let someone jailbreak through a web-site drive-by. :eek:

It's almost as if they didn't understand that a security flaw that let you jailbreak through a site nice enough to ask you first, let *anyone* run arbitrary code on your phone *without* asking first. (Or that they just wanted to complain.)
 

lemikam

macrumors newbie
Jun 1, 2007
19
0
Who actually thought they would be able to use a case with this adapter? :dumbfounded:

Anybody actually dim enough to put an iPhone 5 (or any iPhone really) in a case - to double the size of their phone for no good reason at all - deserves whatever frustration that goofy decision brings on them.
 

tbrinkma

macrumors 68000
Apr 24, 2006
1,651
93
These are benefits of a smaller connector, not specifically the Lightning connector. Apple could have used micro USB and every consumer would be better off.

Except those who have existing 30-pin connector accessories. :rolleyes:
 

samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,767
41,953
USA
They made a better device that simply would not have been possible with the 30-pin connector. Quit your whining. There are other options for people like you.

If you believe Apple 100%. And if you believe they created the best solution vs the most profitable solution (which may or may not be the best).

Can you say with certainty - that Apple's solution is the only one that would have/could have worked with the new iPhone 5?

I'm sure you think you can. I'm also cure the other person wasn't whining. But I'm so pleased you resorted to the childish response of "there are other options for people like you"

Well done.
 
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