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Apple's new Lightning connector is 80% smaller, orientation independent

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
Apple's new 9-pin iOS device connector, dubbed Lightning, is 80 percent smaller than its predecessor, is all-digital, and can be plugged in either way.

The new dock connector helped allow Apple to make the new iPhone 5 the thinnest smartphone on the market. The Lightning connection will be quickly supported by a number of third-party accessory makers highlighted by Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller, including Bose, JBL, and B&W.

Schiller also promised "a bunch of accessories" that will allow users to utilize their legacy accessories that rely on the nearly 10-year-old 30-pin dock connector.



Lightning features
Source: ArsTechnica





Bluetooth, WiFi, AirPlay, Wireless sync, iCloud
Source: ArsTechnica





Lightning icon
Source: ArsTechnica



Schiller noted that the Lightning moniker matches up with the existing Thunderbolt branding. However, speed and pricing of the new cables was not mentioned, as Apple highlighted that many functions, including syncing, video output and updating, can now be accomplished wirelessly using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or mobile connections.
post #2 of 45

Goodie, goodie; more dongles!
 

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post #3 of 45
Deleted
Edited by NexusPhan - 9/12/12 at 11:10am
post #4 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by NexusPhan View Post

8 pin* Not 9. Maybe you had this article pre-written?

 

Hmm. It says 8-signal. Does that mean 9 or 8 pins?

post #5 of 45
So...we've had Thunderbolt.

And now we've got Lightning.

This is all very, very frightening.

(I couldn't resist...)
post #6 of 45
The language they used was 8 pins for signaling. Technically, ground isn't signaling.
post #7 of 45
8 signals GND = 9 pins
post #8 of 45

I think AI should have stuck with Apple's term:  "reversible"...

Much less suggestive.


Edited by boredumb - 9/12/12 at 2:35pm
post #9 of 45
Headphone jacks are orientation independent, the new connector is not.
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post #10 of 45

The Store is back up. You can order the cables and adapters. Says available to ship. What time GMT does the pre-ordering begin on Friday for the iPhone. I'm sure they will be sold out in a matter of an hour or perhaps less.

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post #11 of 45
>>>>>>
So...we've had Thunderbolt.

And now we've got Lightning.

This is all very, very frightening.

(I couldn't resist...)
<<<<

You forgot iCloud 1smile.gif
post #12 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGJ View Post

So...we've had Thunderbolt.

And now we've got Lightning.

This is all very, very frightening.

(I couldn't resist...)

 

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post #13 of 45

Thunderbolt? USB 3?

post #14 of 45

This morning on the Today show some "tech expert" who is clearly a moron, was going on about how the new doc connector would be a micro USB connector because all the countries of europe were going to require it.....  Some tech experts should read more and talk less.

post #15 of 45
Originally Posted by zunx View Post
Thunderbolt? USB 3?

 

There's not even a standalone page for it on Apple's website, which I find surprising. We don't even know what it DOES; all we heard was "most of this stuff is done wirelessly now".

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post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by applenewbie View Post

This morning on the Today show some "tech expert" who is clearly a moron, was going on about how the new doc connector would be a micro USB connector because all the countries of europe were going to require it.....  Some tech experts should read more and talk less.

Wish they would - that way no one in Europe can get one - more for the world to buy, since they sell all they can make anyhow.  What next - "European Union requires Flash Players on all i-devices"?

post #17 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Headphone jacks are orientation independent, the new connector is not.

Ok, you'll have to explain that.

post #18 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Ok, you'll have to explain that.

 

The new connector has two possible orientations…  North facing and South facing, if you will.  A headphone jack is round, so it can face any direction on the compass.  It would be better to refer to the new dock connector as reversible, as someone else suggested earlier in the thread.

post #19 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

There's not even a standalone page for it on Apple's website, which I find surprising. We don't even know what it DOES; all we heard was "most of this stuff is done wirelessly now".

Yes, I spent some time looking. I imagine it's USB 3, since Thunderbold would be impossible, at this time, on a mobile device. that's both because of the cost and size of even the cheap Thunderbolt chip, and the power requirements, which are fairly high. At some point in the future it could happen.

post #20 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by HazMatt View Post

 

The new connector has two possible orientations…  North facing and South facing, if you will.  A headphone jack is round, so it can face any direction on the compass.  It would be better to refer to the new dock connector as reversible, as someone else suggested earlier in the thread.

Ok, couldn't get what you meant.

post #21 of 45

Well, PhilBoogie was the one challenging the 'orientation independent' bit (and I agree).  I was just trying to explain it for him.  :)

post #22 of 45

Ouch, $29 for 30-pin to 8/9-pin adapter, but only $19 for Lightning cable itself.

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post #23 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post

Ouch, $29 for 30-pin to 8/9-pin adapter, but only $19 for Lightning cable itself.

From what I gather, the adapter has circuitry in it, while the cable doesn't.

post #24 of 45

USB should have been orientation independent.

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post #25 of 45
Originally Posted by melgross View Post
I imagine it's USB 3…

 

But the cable is only Lightning to USB 2…  Which then starts to beg the question why they even bothered doing this.

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post #26 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

But the cable is only Lightning to USB 2…  Which then starts to beg the question why they even bothered doing this.

What do you mean "only to USB 2"? Do you mean only when compared to USB 2? If so, that fine enough. We're talking a ten times increase in speed. and that increase is more real than you may think because of the adoption of new technologies that bring it much closer to how FW handles audio, video, and data transfer.

 

Otherwise, we don't know if it's USB 2. I suspect it's USB 3. Otherwise, why name it Lightning at all?

post #27 of 45
Originally Posted by melgross View Post
What do you mean "only to USB 2"?

 

The cable only goes to a USB 2 port from Lightning, so there's no increase of anything.

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post #28 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by HazMatt View Post

 

The new connector has two possible orientations…  North facing and South facing, if you will.  A headphone jack is round, so it can face any direction on the compass.  It would be better to refer to the new dock connector as reversible, as someone else suggested earlier in the thread.

This only works if you ignore all but one 3D axis.

 

Either connector depends on being specifically aligned along two other axes, whether or not they're rotationally symmetrical about the third.

 

People are overthinking this stuff.

post #29 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

But the cable is only Lightning to USB 2…  Which then starts to beg the question why they even bothered doing this.

I really don't see this as being the case, rather that current devices released today that use it are USB2-class.

 

Unless the Lightning cable is an active, rather than plain passive device.

post #30 of 45
Originally Posted by steveH View Post
I really don't see this as being the case, rather that current devices released today that use it are USB2-class.

 

… The cable specifically says USB 2.

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post #31 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

The cable only goes to a USB 2 port from Lightning, so there's no increase of anything.

Apple's USB 3 ports are also USB 2 ports, as they are compatable. So the end of the cable means nothing. I guess we'll just have to wait until tests of speeds are done.

post #32 of 45
Originally Posted by melgross View Post
Apple's USB 3 ports are also USB 2 ports, as they are compatable. So the end of the cable means nothing.

 

… Yeah. But if the cable supported USB 3, it would say that, don't you think?

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post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by NexusPhan View Post

 

Hmm. It says 8-signal. Does that mean 9 or 8 pins?

There are eight pads on the connector. The connector body is ground, for a total of 9 connections. Power must be routed through at least one of the signal connections, so during charging, there may be less than eight "signals". As mentioned during the keynote, the Lightning interface is adaptive, so what's carried on each pin (power, USB, audio, etc) will depend on the situation.


Edited by bsimpsen - 9/12/12 at 3:18pm
post #34 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

… Yeah. But if the cable supported USB 3, it would say that, don't you think?

Yeah, I would think. But there's wishful thinking involved here, and that, along with the name, still gives me hope. Also, it wouldn't be the first time there was a typo on their site.

post #35 of 45
Originally Posted by melgross View Post
Also, it wouldn't be the first time there was a typo on their site.


I was hoping for a fair number of typos today, but as there weren't, I dismissed that idea. You're right; we'll need it in our hands.

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post #36 of 45

I'm pretty sure that Lightning does NOT include USB 3 compatibility.  If it did, then 1) Apple would have said so in the introduction, 2) they would not have emphasized wireless syncing, 3) USB 3 needs 9 pins on its own, leaving nothing else for the plug.  

 

I am concerned that we are going to loose HDMI/analog video out due to this pin.

post #37 of 45

Don't you imagine they will come out with a "new-improved" AV connnector (for another $70 or so), for those of us who have tried AppleTV, and taken it back, again and again, due to disappointment.  I will miss not having the iphone-TV HDMI connectivity, but will just hang onto my ipad3 for connection, when playing back slide-shows and movies, since I have all pics and movies synced on both devices.

 

HDMI wired connectivity is certainly a pain, but beats the wireless capabilities of the current AppleTV hands-down on quality of playback, on everything but basic slideshows.

 

Unless (and this is a BIG doubt) the next version of AppleTV is functional for 1080p playback (wirelessly), then I will not upgrade to the new ipad next year, which will undoubtedly do away with the 30 pin connector also.


Edited by Bagman - 9/12/12 at 4:09pm
post #38 of 45

IT is pretty obvious which way Europe is going.   In a very literal sense the Union is falling apart under the weight of excessive regulation.   It would not be a surprise at all to find them trying to legislate the requirement for a flash player.   However much of this baloney from the European union is about protectionism wrapped with environmental trappings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

Wish they would - that way no one in Europe can get one - more for the world to buy, since they sell all they can make anyhow.  What next - "European Union requires Flash Players on all i-devices"?

post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

IT is pretty obvious which way Europe is going.   In a very literal sense the Union is falling apart under the weight of excessive regulation.   It would not be a surprise at all to find them trying to legislate the requirement for a flash player.   However much of this baloney from the European union is about protectionism wrapped with environmental trappings.

Yeah - for sure.

 

Anyone know the difference in thickness/size between micro-USB and the new 9pin connector?  Are both digital?  I remember the recent ultra-book that had a VGA connector, which stuck out as the thickest part of the housing - looked horrible, all in the name of using video projectors which had not been updated to HDMI.

 

Warning: Old Fart Reminiscence:  Sheesh.  How come the ipad3 doesn't have a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk tray?  I really miss playing all my old Sierra games (King's Quest/Space Quest/Leisure Suit Larry, etc).lol.gif

post #40 of 45
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post
Anyone know the difference in thickness/size between micro-USB and the new 9pin connector?

 

See for yourself.

 

 

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