Lightning has struck, but not everyone is excited. Apple's new 8-pin Lightning connector for the iPhone 5 has replaced the aging 30-pin connector. Many users have concerns that their current third-party devices will no longer operate properly with the smaller all-digital design, not to mention the expensive price tag for each adapter.
Many loyal Apple users have several devices that use the 30-pin connector, such as speaker docks, alarm clocks, all-in-one remotes, and car stereos. While the adapters do allow audio support, they do not have video or iPod out support. What this means is that instead of being able to control the music from your car stereo display or speaker dock, you'll have to instead use the iPhone itself.
The new iPhone 5 will have Airplay built in, meaning you can wirelessly stream music or videos from your phone to speaker docs and stereo systems compatible with Airplay. This is a great option if you're at home or work because Airplay works through your Wi-Fi connection. If you want to stream music wirelessly in you car, then you can use Bluetooth to connect the iPhone to stereos with Bluetooth capabilities.
But what if you don't have these options and need to use the adapter on several of your devices?
For the most part, the 8-pin adapter will allow for audio with most of your accessories. While this may qualm some users, purchasing an iPhone comes with zero adapters (thanks Apple). Users may have several devices that need a converter and Apple sells them for $29 and $39 each. If you have several devices, this can surely add up.
There are some doubts as to whether they will work just like the Apple-branded ones, but only time will tell, since no one actually has their iPhone 5 yet.
The first quarter of 2013 will see products with straight 8-pin compatibility, such as the iHome. Until then, using either Airplay or the third-party adapters are great alternative options to buying the expensive 8-pin adapter.
Some consolation for those that are angry with the connection change; Apple has changed their cables twice in the past decade. Samsung on the other hand has changed their cables 18 times in the past 10 years.