The matter of the introduction of a new, smaller connector for the new generation of Apple device was much talked about and leaked images revealed a smaller design, that made many talk about mini USB connectors and magSafe like connectors.
Apple’s event yesterday finally did reveal the new connector. The 30 pin configuration has been around since the time of the very first iPod, from the year 2003. The old connector restricted Apple from designing new devices with a smaller size, this, along with the need for a new age connector pushed Apple to bring out a new, thunderbolt style, mini connector with 8 pins. And those 8 pins are on both sides of the connector, meaning, it can be connected either ways. The new iPod nano, the iPod touch and iPhone 5 now make use of the new Lightning connector.
Apple calls its new connector an “adaptive interface,” which suggests that in the future, the new connector could be upgraded to support USB 3.0 speeds or Thunderbolt connectivity. As of now, Apple has not announced the features of the new connector, meaning, the data transfer speeds. This naturally means, at its present state, the new connector is only a physical change, while the speeds remain the same.
Another question that has been asked before when the matter of a new Apple connector has been raised is that of compatibility issues with older devices and accessories that make use of the old 30 pin configuration. The answer is a Lightning to 30 pin converter. But the problem here is that it will not support video and iPod out and might not be compatible with some older devices. Like other Apple accessories, it will sell the 30 pin adapter for $29. Apart from the 30 pin adapter, Apple is currently selling, to its European customers, a Micro-USB adapter for £15.
Apart from backward compatibility possible to a limited extent, the cupertino company is already working with notable accessories makers like Bose, JBL, Bowers and Wilkins and Bang & Olufsen, to bring out Lightning compatible sound systems.