Yikes! New iPhone 5 and iPod Lightning connection may not work with old docks, even with adapter

Apple, Hi-Fi Systems, Home audio, iPhone, iPhone, iPod, iPod Accessories, Tech Digest news

lightning-adapter.jpgApple’s new iPhone 5 and iPod Touch, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle models for 2012 were revealed last night, and all proved super-slim thanks to the use of a new Lightning connection for data transfer and charging.

Smaller than the standard 30-pin connection that’s been a standard on Apple products for a decade, many feared that the Lightning connection would make their old stereo docks and accessories obsolete due to the size difference, but Apple promised that a £25 adapter for older kit would prevent such woes.

It now seems as though that may not be the case. Even if you do buy the 30-pin-to-Lightning adapter, some docking stations and accessories will not be compatible.

The problem lies with the way the Lightning connection handles signals. Lightning isn’t capable of outputting an analogue signal, meaning that any kit that takes an analogue signal won’t work. Worryingly, that’s quite a large number of them.

The Apple website itself states that “some 30-pin accessories are not supported”, and outright admits that “video and iPod Out [are] not supported” by the adapter.

The only possible solution would be that tucked away inside that tiny adapter is an even tinier DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Convertor). But at just £25, we think that’s unlikely.

We’re reaching out to Apple about this now, and will update when we hear word back.

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Gerald Lynch
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