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Lightning connector viewed as long-term investment, may not be replaced for 10 years

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Apple's new Lightning connector, introduced alongside the iPhone 5 last week, is thought to be a key long-term investment for the company, and will possibly have a lifetime of ten years.

Lightning Plug
Source: Apple


In a research note shared with AppleInsider, well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo broke down the cost of components used in the iPhone 5, and found the Lightning's ASP (average sales price) to have risen the most compared to parts in the iPhone 4S.

Kuo notes the new Lightning connector's cost of $3.50 represents a huge 775 percent rise in ASP compared to the legacy 30-pin dock connector's last price of $0.40. Concurrently, the Lightning cable's $6.00 ASP is a 233 percent jump from the previous standard's $1.80 model.

The spike is to be expected as Lightning is a new technology, replacing the nearly decade old 30-pin dock connector first introduced with the third-generation iPod.

While Apple's new plug is similar in size to the Micro USB standard, Kuo believes the Lightning's specs are higher, making the connector more difficult to manufacture. Included in the new high-tech part is a unique design which the analyst says is likely to feature a pin-out with four contacts dedicated to data, two for accessories, one for power and a ground. Two of the data transmission pins may be reserved for future input/output technology like USB 3.0 or perhaps even Thunderbolt, though this is merely speculation.

Lightning


As for Lightning's expected lifespan, the format is estimated to be in use for the next five to ten years, almost identical to the now-defunct 30-pin standard.

While ASP may be high in the first one to two years following deployment, the cost is acceptable as Apple will likely make back its investment in royalties from accessory sales. Apple is thought to be using a Texas Instruments chip for accessory authorization, making it difficult for third party manufacturers to build and sell Lightning-compatible products without paying royalties.

Looking at other critical parts in the iPhone 5, Kuo notes Apple's quest to make high-quality products has boosted the ASP of other components as well, including the sapphire camera lens cover, upgraded baseband system, the A6 processor and the 4-inch in-cell touch panel. The second-highest ASP rise comes from the iPhone 5's all-aluminum back casing's $17 price which represents a 240 percent increase from the $5 "metal band" design seen in the iPhone 4 and 4S.
post #2 of 53
Nonsense, the move to the new connector was clearly a cash grab. Apple is greedy. They just want you to buy adapters from them.

The new connector doesn't offer any advantage over the old connector.

/s
post #3 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Nonsense, the move to the new connector was clearly a cash grab. Apple is greedy. They just want you to buy adapters from them.
The new connector doesn't offer any advantage over the old connector.
/s

Nearly didn't notice your little /s there - what a relief!

 

I agree that the connector is potentially a long term investment.  I have now tried it for myself and I like it, it has a positive action and is surprisingly secure for such a small connector.  I haven't looked into this but believe that the pins are software reconfigurable.  If so, plenty of room for future developments.

Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #4 of 53

I would go as far as to say that within 10 years we will not be using physical connectors anymore for these mobile devices, so another new physicial connector is not to be expected indeed.

 

Any data connection (also audio/video) will be wireless (BT, WiDi, WiFi etc.) and by then Apple will probably have jumped on wireless charging as well as this offers nice design opportunities.

post #5 of 53
It looks like a win-win for AAPL; more versatile, reversible, compact, proprietary chip to prevent cheap Asian junk.
Eph nMP, rMBP, MBA, Minis
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Eph nMP, rMBP, MBA, Minis
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post #6 of 53
I'm hoping for a lightning to thunderbolt connector. I don't have any devices that use Thunderbolt yet, and syncing my iPhone with Thunderbolt would be awesome.
post #7 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleFanPro View Post

I'm hoping for a lightning to thunderbolt connector. I don't have any devices that use Thunderbolt yet, and syncing my iPhone with Thunderbolt would be awesome.

Why? The sync time is not likely to be limited by the cable, anyway.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #8 of 53

Side note on the connector:  

 

An order that I placed on 17-Sep (originally not scheduled to arrive until October 10th) just shipped, estimated delivery 27-Sep ... Apple must have done something.

post #9 of 53
Clearly it was necessary to change the adapter to continue the march of thinness. I have no quarrel with their rationale there. That said, if the analyst's cost estimates are correct, we are talking 5 bucks for the cable. How much could the chip needed to translate between the new and old adapter output cost. Don't see any justification for the exorbitant premium Apple gets at $29 a pop. Give long term buyers who have collected several add ons a break here.
post #10 of 53

Or perhaps there will be no next connector? Perhaps by then we may see wireless charing + syncing going mainstream? With third party devices in the future that connect to iPhones and iPads being held to said devices with a magnet connector, not too unlike a MagSafe, but designed more for convenience of pairing and keeping together devices like doctor's utilities and the host device, e.g. an iPhone.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #11 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Nonsense, the move to the new connector was clearly a cash grab. Apple is greedy. They just want you to buy adapters from them.
The new connector doesn't offer any advantage over the old connector.
/s

Can you please enlighten us with your expert opinion of the data transfer field based on your personal experience of course, why the new connector doesn't offer any advantage over t a the old one.
Your help would be highly appreciated.
In case you remain silent we will know you are stuffing your face with humble pie to mask your embarrassment.
Sure, Apple needs all the revenue they can gain with selling adapters...
Get a life before it is too late!😱
post #12 of 53

/s = SARCASM tag

 

That was meant as a reply to the post above.

post #13 of 53
Well duh
post #14 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazol View Post


Can you please enlighten us with your expert opinion of the data transfer field based on your personal experience of course, why the new connector doesn't offer any advantage over t a the old one.
Your help would be highly appreciated.
In case you remain silent we will know you are stuffing your face with humble pie to mask your embarrassment.
Sure, Apple needs all the revenue they can gain with selling adapters...
Get a life before it is too late!😱

*snicker*

Humble Pie indeed, sir...  Humble pie indeed.

*snicker*

post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by DethByUngaBunga View Post

/s = SARCASM tag

That was meant as a reply to the post above.

Was it?
Sorry, too realistic troll posting...
Then I am having the h. pie....
😂
post #16 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazol View Post

Can you please enlighten us with your expert opinion of the data transfer field based on your personal experience of course, why the new connector doesn't offer any advantage over t a the old one.
Your help would be highly appreciated.
In case you remain silent we will know you are stuffing your face with humble pie to mask your embarrassment.
Sure, Apple needs all the revenue they can gain with selling adapters...
Get a life before it is too late!😱

Sigh.
post #17 of 53
I understand the 'march to thinness' but I won't be getting an iP5 and one of the reasons will be the new connector. I have 3 speaker/payback units (1 clock radio
post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazol View Post

Was it?
Sorry, too realistic troll posting...
Then I am having the h. pie....
😂

It's all good.

It was realistic because I was basically quoting what several people have actually posted... Some people.
post #19 of 53
I understand the 'march to thinness' but I won't be getting an iP5 and one of the reasons will be the new connector. I have 3 speaker/payback units (1 clock radio
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxhunter101 View Post

I understand the 'march to thinness' but I won't be getting an iP5 and one of the reasons will be the new connector. I have 3 speaker/payback units (1 clock radio

I understand the sentiment, but you're now on the wrong end of progress. You'll have to make the jump eventually.
post #21 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by DethByUngaBunga View Post

Side note on the connector:  

 

An order that I placed on 17-Sep (originally not scheduled to arrive until October 10th) just shipped, estimated delivery 27-Sep ... Apple must have done something.


Yeah I placed my order on the 12th and it was supposed to ship next week and arrive the 5th but shipped today too

post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by mausz View Post

I would go as far as to say that within 10 years we will not be using physical connectors anymore for these mobile devices, so another new physicial connector is not to be expected indeed.

Any data connection (also audio/video) will be wireless (BT, WiDi, WiFi etc.) and by then Apple will probably have jumped on wireless charging as well as this offers nice design opportunities.

I mentioned this a few days agao in a thread: Apple has quite a few wireless inductive charging patents already. Do a search on Patently Apple.
Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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Knowing what you are talking about would help you understand why you are so wrong. By "Realistic" - AI Forum Member
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post #23 of 53
I could be wrong, but the reason for the $29 adapter may be for the signal conversion. If the new pins are all digital, then they will need to have AD/DA chips inside.
post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post

I could be wrong, but the reason for the $29 adapter may be for the signal conversion. If the new pins are all digital, then they will need to have AD/DA chips inside.

Third parties already have them for sale for $9.99 on Amazon.com
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Nonsense, the move to the new connector was clearly a cash grab. Apple is greedy. They just want you to buy adapters from them.
The new connector doesn't offer any advantage over the old connector.
/s

The old connector would not fit in the new iP5 -- the main advantage of the new connector is that it allows for a slimmer iPhone design. Check out the iFixit teardown which shows how tightly packed the components are.
post #26 of 53

Just picked up the 5 this morning. The connector is TINY, way smaller than I imagined! Plugging it in and unplugging it feels very solid too, no slop, and that should go a long ways for durability of the connectors.

 

Also, a lot is being made of the whole ditching the 30 pin issue. We need to move forward people, might as well rip the band-aid off and get it over with!

post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbach67 View Post

Clearly it was necessary to change the adapter to continue the march of thinness. I have no quarrel with their rationale there. That said, if the analyst's cost estimates are correct, we are talking 5 bucks for the cable. How much could the chip needed to translate between the new and old adapter output cost. Don't see any justification for the exorbitant premium Apple gets at $29 a pop. Give long term buyers who have collected several add ons a break here.

 You do realize across almost all industry and services new customers get better deals than long-term customers. For example, studies have shown people that stick with the same insurance company for years pay much more on average than newer customers.

 

So when people play the loyalty card, "I've been with your company for XX years," blah blah blah, I just laugh. Companies are interested in getting new customers so they create incentives such as introductory rates, no interest for X months, etc. But when those perks end, customers generally don't switch to a new company offering a better deal because it's a hassle to search out a new solution to a problem you've already solved in your life. And companies know this. Why give customers they already have an incentive that will lose them revenue when those customers are unlikely to switch anyway?

When a company stops chasing profit and start chasing the betterment of their products, services, workforce, and customers, that will be the most valuable company in the world.
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When a company stops chasing profit and start chasing the betterment of their products, services, workforce, and customers, that will be the most valuable company in the world.
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post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fithian View Post

It looks like a win-win for AAPL; more versatile, reversible, compact, proprietary chip to prevent cheap Asian junk.

I agree. I think it's a good idea to make it more difficult to be "copied!" :)

post #29 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by solsun View Post

Third parties already have them for sale for $9.99 on Amazon.com

Those companies have no development costs, probably in the millions for Apple, to recoup. They just copy the design, if not steal the design.

Yeah, you can say that Apple should absorb the cost within their huge margins, but they're both running a business and founding a new kind of techno-ecology, or empire if you want. Gruber's comparison comes to mind. Apple is the new Microsoft and Intel combined. I'd go farther and say that they're also laying out a global retail empire such as the world has never seen.

They're not going to be giving away or blowing out their new connector accessories.
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post


Those companies have no development costs, probably in the millions for Apple, to recoup. They just copy the design, if not steal the design.
Yeah, you can say that Apple should absorb the cost within their huge margins, but they're both running a business and founding a new kind of techno-ecology, or empire if you want. Gruber's comparison comes to mind. Apple is the new Microsoft and Intel combined. I'd go farther and say that they're also laying out a global retail empire such as the world has never seen.
They're not going to be giving away or blowing out their new connector accessories.

 

I also think there is a "rationing" element to Apple's pricing of the adaptors.  There will be a worldwide demand for tens of millions of these little things.  When I get an iPhone or iPad that uses the new connector, I'll need one adaptor, but could use at least 3.  If Apple were selling them at cost or close to it (i.e., if they were cheap), I would go ahead and grab a bunch.  Well, that might not be good for Apple in the first months of the iPhone 5 if you can't easily get one because everyone ahead of you has exhausted the initial, limited supply.

 

On the other hand, I'm sure Apple's not too sad to rake in 10s of million of dollars of adaptor profit either.

post #31 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by mausz View Post

I would go as far as to say that within 10 years we will not be using physical connectors anymore for these mobile devices, so another new physicial connector is not to be expected indeed.

Any data connection (also audio/video) will be wireless (BT, WiDi, WiFi etc.) and by then Apple will probably have jumped on wireless charging as well as this offers nice design opportunities.

My feelings too.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Those companies have no development costs, probably in the millions for Apple, to recoup. They just copy the design, if not steal the design.
Yeah, you can say that Apple should absorb the cost within their huge margins, but they're both running a business and founding a new kind of techno-ecology, or empire if you want. Gruber's comparison comes to mind. Apple is the new Microsoft and Intel combined. I'd go farther and say that they're also laying out a global retail empire such as the world has never seen.
They're not going to be giving away or blowing out their new connector accessories.

I am very wary of third party knock off Apple parts. Just Yahoo about Macs that tingle. It turns out thousands of folks bought cheepo Apple chargers from Amazon for their Macs. A friend of mine did and sure enough, touching the case could give a tingling sensation. I checked his adapter and the connector to the charger (not the wall plug, the slide in connector) used a plastic instead of the steel pin for the special earthing system Apple developed.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #33 of 53

Does Apple have a patent on the lightning-to-30 pin adapter? If not, and if the parts are really that cheap, then companies will be able to produce it and sell it for $10. I'm wary of the adapters that are being "pre-sold" and will probably wait until people have time to run tests on them to compare or take them apart.

post #34 of 53

Older readers will remember back to 1998, when the new iMac ditched the old ADB and SCSI in favor of USB. Many people complained at the time, but it needed to be done, and everything works better this way.

 

Three years down the road, nobody will care.

post #35 of 53
The new connector loses features, is only as fast as USB 2.0, and is incompatible with the mini-USB standard that the rest of the world uses. Yeah, I'd call that a fail.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Nonsense, the move to the new connector was clearly a cash grab. Apple is greedy. They just want you to buy adapters from them.
The new connector doesn't offer any advantage over the old connector.
/s
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post

So when people play the loyalty card, "I've been with your company for XX years," blah blah blah, I just laugh. Companies are interested in getting new customers so they create incentives such as introductory rates, no interest for X months, etc. But when those perks end, customers generally don't switch to a new company offering a better deal because it's a hassle to search out a new solution to a problem you've already solved in your life. And companies know this. Why give customers they already have an incentive that will lose them revenue when those customers are unlikely to switch anyway?

Story of my life, but from both sides. We also have customers who have been with us for 20+ years and they routinely thank us for our superb service. They trust us and would not switch. Even if another company tries to gain their business offering lower cost they adamantly refuse because they never have to worry about the quality of the service they receive from us. If they switched, there would be a chance that the service would be inferior, which is one thing they cannot afford. People who want top quality rarely shop around for bargains. 

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #37 of 53
Originally Posted by bingethinker View Post
Older readers will remember back to 1998, when the new iMac ditched the old ADB and SCSI in favor of USB. Many people complained at the time, but it needed to be done, and everything works better this way.

 

Three years down the road, nobody will care.


Time has compressed now. Three MONTHS down the road, no one will care. Same with Maps, as it'll get that much better that much faster.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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post #38 of 53
Since none of us have a crystal ball, that may or may not be true. Since I live in here and now, I can say with confidence that the new maps currently suck and so does the new connector.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Time has compressed now. Three MONTHS down the road, no one will care. Same with Maps, as it'll get that much better that much faster.

post #39 of 53
Originally Posted by Waverunnr View Post
…I can say with confidence that the new maps currently suck and so does the new connector.

 

Thanks for your uninformed, unimportant opinion.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #40 of 53

My opinion is quite informed… to which I shall now demonstrate since you're clearly 12 years old and don't know any better…

If you're going to disrupt a clearly established ecosystem by changing a piece of hardware, that change should come with enough benefits that outweigh the negative aspects:

PROS:
Smaller
Digital

CONS:
Incompatible with billions of accessories
Expensive adaptor
Slower than current technology allows (USB 2 vs USB 3)
Removes features like audio and video out, features that I used.

As any reasonable person can see, this is a step backwards, not a step forwards. And speaking of taking multiple steps backwards... let's talk about the new maps...

PROS:
More attractive than Google Maps
FlyOver
Turn-by-turn directions

CONS
Severely lacking in POIs
Localized maps severely lacking (Penn State campus, for example, totally barren now)
Turn-by-turn directions inferior to TomTom
Street View is gone
3D maps only in a few major cities
Biking paths are gone
Public Transportation is gone

Now what do these two examples have in common? They both took a SUPERIOR product and REPLACED them with an INFERIOR product.

There's really no way you can spin this, although watching you try will be very amusing to say the least.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Thanks for your uninformed, unimportant opinion.


Edited by Waverunnr - 9/21/12 at 11:38am
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