Hands on with Apple’s Lightning to 30-pin Adapters

“The latest iPhone and iPods include a USB-to-Lightning-connector cable, but you don’t get any sort of adapter for using the new devices with older accessories,” Dan Frakes reports for Macworld. “For that, you’ll need to turn to Apple’s $29 Lightning to 30-pin Adapter or $39 Lightning to 30-pin Adapter (0.2 m), which is the cable version.”

“The two adapters function identically,” Frakes reports. “Nearly a month after they were announced, and three weeks after the iPhone 5 itself hit the streets, both adapters are now available.”

I’ve been testing them for compatibility [with the following]:

• Speakers and audio docks
• Chargers and batteries
• Video
• iPod-out mode
• Microphones and other audio-input products

Frakes reports, “If you instead plan to embrace the Lightning connector and wait for third-party vendors to release Lightning-connector-equipped accessories, it’s a pretty safe bet that those products will be compatible for a while. Considering the 30-pin connector had a nine-year run, I suspect the Lightning connector will be standard on new iPhone, iPad, and iPod models—including the rumored iPad mini—for years to come.”

Much more in the full article here.


  1. Lightning is by far the best connector I’ve ever seen. Small and solid. Mini USB is so weak, and 30 pin is outdated. Great that Apple moved on. Sometimes you have to get rid of something. Remember the floppy disc.

  2. Big complaint right now, the little guy is too short to fit if you have a case on your phone… So before you waist your money get the more expensive .2m unit, which will definitely fit your iPhone case.

    I am getting a bit frustrated with having only one charging cable. I need at least 5 for the various places I use my phone. IE: in the bedroom, car, work. Sometimes more than one cable because of multiple devices I need to charge, inconveniently at the same time.. No I am not complaining, I just don’t want to cary the only cable I have, around with me all the time, not to mention not having a backup.

    1. I found the .2m unit to work better as well, One really great advantage of this is that I had a lot of accessories that had a 30-pin port which didn’t work with iPhones that had cases or bumpers, with the .2m adapter, my iPhone 5 works great with them without having to take the bumper off.

      BTW: Have you considered getting more than one cable? The first thing I did was buy 5.

    1. I didn’t consider being able to use my iPhone with my one-month-old car stereo system to be “clutter”.

      With the new connector and adapter I lose the ability to use my car audio system as a head unit and controller for my music on my iPhone 4.

  3. I love the new lightening connector. It snaps into the iPhne5 in either direction & gives a nice little tactile feedback. I just wish my iPad3 I bought a few months ago had it too. I don’t fault Apple for moving forward with an obvious improvement, but they could have done wonders for their corporate image if they gave their loyal consumers a break by providing the 1st adapter along with their purchase.

  4. Who wants yet another adapter attached like a bad Lego dream?
    So now everybody please go out and buy new docks,cars,etc. that support the new connector! Hurry up already! 🙂

  5. The main problem for not seeing the Lightning products on sale is that the chip(s) are not available yet. I don’t know if it involves reverse engineering or what, but there are extra batteries, wireless chargers, docks etc. ready. Everybody seems to know how they work but just can’t get the ICs.

  6. I love the new connector. I have older iPhone’s and an iPad that are having lots of problems getting the old 30-pin connector to work, especially but not exclusively with cheeper third party cables. Looks like Apple listened to their Apple Geniuses and repair department and fixed the problems they were having.

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