Lightning replaces 30-pin dock connector

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The Lightning connector was ahead of its time.
Photo: Anker

September 12: Today in Apple history: iPhone 5 brings big changes, new EarPods September 12, 2012: The Lightning connector replaces Apple’s old 30-pin one. The new port debuts in the iPhone 5.

Lightning will soon be built into many other Apple products, including iPad, iPod and accessories. It’s used to charge the mobile devices as well as transfer data with Mac and PC.

Lightning connector brought big improvements

Lightning’s launch was somewhat controversial because users had invested in cables and other accessories for the previous 30-pin dock connector. The new format actually brought significant improvements, and was superior to rival options available at the time.

It is much smaller than the old version. And it is reversible, so it can be inserted into its port face up or face down. That put it way ahead of micro-USB.

The chief disadvantage of Lightning for consumers is that it’s a Apple proprietary port. It prevents iPhones and Androids from sharing cables unless adapters are used.

Apple’s connector supports USB 3.0 host, but the only accessory that fully supports this feature is the camera adapter that includes a USB-A port. Most Lightning cables support only USB 2.0 with a maximum data transfer speed of 60 MBps.

Lightning vs. USB-C

USB-C was introduced in 2014, and it offers all the advantages of Lightning and more. It’s just as small and reversible while offering much higher data-transfer speeds, up to 1,250 MBps (10Gbps)

Apple adopted USB-C for MacBooks starting in 2015, and is gradually switching the iPad line to the new connector. There have been increasing calls for Apple to make the same change with iPhone.

It hasn’t happened yet – the iPhone 14 series still has a Lightning port as does the charging case for AirPods Pro 2. But the change may be on the way.

The EU is on course to require all new phones and tablets to have a USB-C port, including iPhone. Seeing the writing on the wall, Apple is allegedly preparing to drop Lightning in 2023 with the iPhone 15 and put in a USB-C port.




Author: Subham

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