GMA News Online

Not everyone's happy with Apple's new dock connector

September 14, 2012 3:16pm
Not everyone is quite happy with the changes that came with the iPhone 5, Apple Inc.'s latest smartphone.
One of the gripes involves Lightning, a smaller proprietary dock connector which tech site CNET executive editor Molly Wood said is consumer-unfriendly.
In an article on CNET, Wood said the use of a smaller dock connector instead of micro-USB is also bad for the environment and offers "few, if any, obvious tech benefits."
"Apple calls the new connector Lightning, but giving it a clever name doesn't mean it adds anything but dollars in Apple's bank account," she said.

Not all devices supported
On the other hand, Wood said the adapter product page points out not all 30-pin devices will be supported.
Neither will it carry video or iPod-out signals, or analog audio signals, she added.
"So, yes, the iPhone 5 and 2012 iPods will probably require some all-new accessories. That means Lightning is bad news for your wallet and bad news for the landfill, too," she said.
She noted Apple had built a strong business on licensing its proprietary connection technology to accessory makers, and selling its own premium cables for $19 each, plus $29 for adapters.
This move is not welcome at a time most shoppers are on a budget, she said, adding the move is ecologically irresponsible.
Wood also noted the move comes at a time Apple was supporting the International Electronics Commission's efforts for a universal, micro-USB charging standard.
Also, she said that while Apple wanted to make devices smaller and thinner, a micro-USB charging port is almost the exact same size as the new dock connector.
Ecologically unfriendly
CNET's Wood cited a report by the GSM Association that the mobile phone industry produces 51,000 to 82,000 tons of replacement chargers every year.
Many of these end up in landfill, she said.
She added the association also notes a standard charger could eliminate the need for new chargers with each device, reduce packaging, and reduce discarded charging cables.
It could also potentially lower the carbon footprint of the wireless industry by some 13.6 million tons per year. — TJD, GMA News

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