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Why Can’t I Use my Old iPhone Accessories with my New iPhone

--By On March 20, 2015


What is a Lightning Charger?

Apple announced the move to the Lightning charger alongside the release of the iPhone 5 after 9 years with the outdated 30-pin connection point as the brand’s standard, and many longtime iPhone owners were surprised to hear their old accessories would no longer be compatible with the latest devices on the market. While the switch may present an inconvenience to many users, the Lightning charger was introduced as a superior alternative and presents a number of long-term benefits for both Apple and its consumers.


The Lightning charger is designed to be much more stable and user-friendly than the old 30-pin connection, which was known to malfunction over time. Lightning chargers can be inserted into the device facing in either direction and are designed to have a longer operational life as well.

Other benefits to the Lightning connection type include more efficient charging and faster data transfer speeds. Lightning connection points are also 80 percent smaller than 30=pin inputs, allowing Apple to design smaller and more streamlined devices with the saved space.

3rd Party Limitations

Another significant factor in the move to the Lightning connection is to establish a proprietary standard for accessories. After researching the main issues with 30-pin connectors, Apple determined that many of the issues with the old cables were particularly pronounced in 3rd party accessories. As a result, current generation iOS devices are factory programmed to reject non-Apple accessories by displaying an incompatibility message when one is inserted.

Apple Adaptors

Although all Apple devices now include a Lightning to USB cable standard, Apple has also introduced 30-pin to Lightning adaptor to address the issue of sudden accessory obsolescence. These adaptors are only officially available through Apple, as the 3rd party limitation is designed extend to this device as well, and may also alter the way that the iPhone fits with charging stands and music docks, but do provide a convenient way for existing iPhone owners to make use of their old accessories as backups with current generation iPhones.

The move to the Lightning standard was a necessary step in the evolution of the iPhone line, providing benefits that the old 30-pin connection type simply was not built to offer. If you’re considering a new phone from Apple, you’ll need new peripherals as well as a new phone plan for your current generation device, and you can compare mobile phone plans at iiNet to find the best deal.


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