What advantage does the lightning connector offer from the perspective of a consumer

AR999

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 12, 2012
126
0
Well I guess the title says it all, I dont understand whats good about it. :confused:
 

Sedrick

macrumors 68030
Nov 10, 2010
2,596
26
It's a new, smaller connector that let's Apple make a skinnier, lighter phone. You also get to buy (from Apple) all new cables and adapters. You also get to buy all new iPhone docks and speaker systems.

Main advantage for consumer? You can plug it in upside down.
 
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haruhiko

macrumors 603
Sep 29, 2009
5,083
2,728
You can plug it in in either directions. It's smaller which means that the socket on your phone won't attract as much dust.
 
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FieldingMellish

Suspended
Jun 20, 2010
2,440
3,107
New Apple consumers won't notice anything about the plug, except if they go out to buy add-ons and keep coming across old stock that come with the old connector.
 
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newagemac

macrumors 68020
Mar 31, 2010
2,090
19
The main reason for it is the smaller size so that smaller devices can be made. The iPhone 5 would not have been possible with the old connector. It simply was too big internally and became the bottleneck for creating thinner, lighter phones. And it was already becoming difficult to insert on the iPad because of the slope. On the iPad, the 30 pin connector actually sticks out a bit and doesn't fully fit correctly because of the size. It works, but the fit isn't optimal. Today we will probably see a new iPad with the new connector that fits better.

But Apple did take the opportunity to provide other current and future benefits. The fact that you can insert it any way without looking is great. Comes in handy when plugging in at night by the nightstand before going to sleep. Also, the new connector will allow Apple to take advantage of faster speeds in the future. Currently the flash storage is the bottleneck so the connector is fine. But if in the future, flash transfer speeds pass USB 2, then Apple could move to USB 3 to take advantage of that while maintaining backwards compatibility.
 
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shawnwich

macrumors 6502
Oct 4, 2007
368
0
Houston, TX
  • Reversible
  • Allows apple to make even thinner products
  • More room for speaker and microphone on the bottom!
  • Durability
 
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mcdj

macrumors G3
Jul 10, 2007
8,896
4,085
NYC
I'll tell you what it's NOT good for...plugging into your phone at night in the dark. Even after a month of practice, I can't plug it in on the first try. The scratches around the port on my phone tell it all.
 
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Korican100

macrumors 65816
Oct 9, 2012
1,108
408
use of ease (reversible)

Future enhancements that would have been limited by old connector


Those two right there are way more than enough for a change. Anyone disagreeing with that I would think, is just ignorant and stubborn. seriously.

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I'll tell you what it's NOT good for...plugging into your phone at night in the dark. Even after a month of practice, I can't plug it in on the first try. The scratches around the port on my phone tell it all.
um it was even harder with the old connector. The new one is a breeze in the dark.
 
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Sowelu

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2008
282
139
New York City
I'll tell you what it's NOT good for...plugging into your phone at night in the dark. Even after a month of practice, I can't plug it in on the first try. The scratches around the port on my phone tell it all.
I've mastered this late night move. Feel around the bottom of the iPhone and put your pointer finger over the Lightening slot. While your finger is pressed over the slot, use the Lightening cable to locate and push your finger away while your finger acts as a guide to route the connector right into the slot.
 
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robanga

macrumors 68000
Aug 25, 2007
1,657
1
Oregon
Lightning is better. Much easier to insert. It also will eventually make accessories more robust. I have seen many poorly made 30 pin connections in clock radios, you name it.
 
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spblat

macrumors 6502a
Jun 18, 2010
968
0
Allows Apple to make thinner devices. Not hard to understand.
Think about the biggest epiphany about the original iPhone and apps. It's a multipurpose device that appears to the user as a single-purpose device. What I mean is when the phone app is live, it's a fabulous phone. When the calendar app is up, it's a beautiful calendar. Everything about the device, physically, is about drawing attention to the single-purpose nature of the app.

Lightning is sort of similar. Today it's just an expensive USB 2.0 sync cable. In two hours it will also be an interface to cameras and SD cards, and a video cable for giving presentations. After that it'll be a thunderbolt or USB 3.0 cable for insane data rates. After that, who knows.

So yes, it's smaller. But to answer the OP's question it's also good for the consumer in that it enables innovations that will mostly be seen in future products.
 
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VSMacOne

macrumors 601
Oct 18, 2008
4,651
1,372
  • Reversible
  • Allows apple to make even thinner products
  • More room for speaker and microphone on the bottom!
  • Durability
Plus down the road we might expect more from the chip that's inside each of the cables.
 
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gentlefury

macrumors 68030
Jul 21, 2011
2,848
0
Los Angeles, CA
I'll tell you what it's NOT good for...plugging into your phone at night in the dark. Even after a month of practice, I can't plug it in on the first try. The scratches around the port on my phone tell it all.
Are you drunk most nights? I find it easier since it doesn't matter which way you plug it in.

----------

Think about the biggest epiphany about the original iPhone and apps. It's a multipurpose device that appears to the user as a single-purpose device. What I mean is when the phone app is live, it's a fabulous phone. When the calendar app is up, it's a beautiful calendar. Everything about the device, physically, is about drawing attention to the single-purpose nature of the app.

Lightning is sort of similar. Today it's just an expensive USB 2.0 sync cable. In two hours it will also be an interface to cameras and SD cards, and a video cable for giving presentations. After that it'll be a thunderbolt or USB 3.0 cable for insane data rates. After that, who knows.

So yes, it's smaller. But to answer the OP's question it's also good for the consumer in that it enables innovations that will mostly be seen in future products.
This is kind of the point right here. The USB side is negligible! Being a proprietary all digital connector means they could easily swap out the other side of this cable and allow for greater future expandability! I wouldn't doubt that we could easily see a Lightning to USB3 connection soon...or even a Lightning to Thunderbolt connection.
 
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Interstella5555

macrumors 603
Jun 30, 2008
5,219
4
I'll tell you what it's NOT good for...plugging into your phone at night in the dark. Even after a month of practice, I can't plug it in on the first try. The scratches around the port on my phone tell it all.
Ahh, the old "round peg won't fit in a round hole" problem.
 
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cababah

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
1,687
163
SF Bay Area, CA
I have wondered what the big deal is with the lightning connector for some time until late at night in the dark I rolled over and effortlessly plugged it in to my iPhone 5 to charge it...this was a feat not so easily accomplished with the old connector. The old connector would have had me trying to jam it in and not work then turn ON the phone to light up to see which way it was oriented and then finagle it in the bottom.

I think the lightning in itself (right now) is not that revolutionary but it is a necessary re-design that will allow Apple (and accessory manufacturers) to have a lot more design freedom in the future.
 
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cababah

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
1,687
163
SF Bay Area, CA
I am no EE by any means but wouldn't the charging speed be dictated by the adapter plug that is the same as the previous version (Amp-wise)?
 
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spblat

macrumors 6502a
Jun 18, 2010
968
0
I am no EE by any means but wouldn't the charging speed be dictated by the adapter plug that is the same as the previous version (Amp-wise)?
Yes. Copper and gold only transmit energy so fast. :)

Today we'll apparently see a higher-powered charger.
 
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