Originally Posted by Macky the Macky
Let eBay be your friend. Apple will be producing products with the old 30 pin connectors for at least two more years, so there is a huge market still being fed new Apple/old connector products. I would guess it may be four years or more before accessories with the old connector will begin to lose their demand.... That's halfway through the projected life-span of the new connector.
I'm not sure I agree with this.
Next years new release of the iPhone and iPad will presumably knock the 4 off as the low-end phone and likewise with the iPad 2, leaving only the 4S and New iPad as low-end models. The Nano and Touch just got a refresh with the new dock connector, leaving just the shuffle and Classic. Chances are the Shuffle and Classic will get updates next year as well, or discontinued, and either way the Classic is the only one affected.
That leaves just two legacy devices being produced -- Apple likes to make things uniform, so depending on what it takes to convert a device to the new connector, I would not be surprised to see the New iPad and 4S updated to use the new connector. Why would Apple support two connection standards any longer than they have to? Depending on the engineering to change out the connector, wouldn't it save Apple substantially to build only one connector than to keep buying the 30-pin part in substantially lesser quantities and instead buy more of the 9-pin part in substantially greater quantities? Plus I have a personal desire to continue to see them offer the 4S form factor as an alternative size to the 5, which extended length I don't care for, in which case perhaps they will continue to update the internals of the 4S as well since it is otherwise essentially the same phone.
Either way, I don't really see Apple or third party manufacturers offering 30-pin accessories much past the release of the next iPhone. Even if Apple retains the 30-pin connector on the 4S and New iPad after next years updates, I would not expect them to continue selling many of the accessories, except what they ship with it -- the USB cable. They might keep the adapters around for another year, depending on what third parties decide to offer, but otherwise, let the third parties cater to the lega y devices.
But third parties are not likely to keep pumping out many new accessories for the 30-pin docking connector only for more than a year for what is otherwise a dying format. Most people who have 30-pin devices already have all the docks they need. If anything, I could see a 9-pin to 30-pin connector adapter developed by third parties to use with new docks for legacy devices. It would be a much more elegant solution to design a dock to convert the new tiny connector to a larger one, than vice-versa. So far Apple's adapters appear uni-directional. But as manufacturers drop the old connector, I would think reverse adapters would be in order (if not bi-directional), to use older devices with newer docks. Granted there is a huge installed base of devices that use 30-pin connectors, but if you have to license two connectors from Apple, I have to image manufacturers would choose the new one and let the legacy devices fall into the same category as all other smart phones have for years -- analogue 1/8" audio plug connection (if you don't want to purchase the adapter). Perhaps some of the high end docks will offer both connectors, but that makes for a clumsy dock.
What's interesting about this is how ubiquitous the old dock is. From gyms, to hotels. Higher end destinations will most likely replace the equipment with the newer connector after about a year, this dumping huge numbers of used equipment onto the market to supply the demand from legacy users, something new manufacturers must take into consideration. It's unlikely those businesses which cannot afford to upgrade their equipment would offer expensive adapters which could be easily stolen, this leaving that to the iDevice owner. But nevertheless, they won't be buying any more legacy docks. To the extent a third party company continues to manufacture new 30-pin only docks after next year, you can bet the number of offerings will be greatly reduced and the price greatly increased.