From the DF Archive: On the Switch From 30-Pin to Lightning

Yours truly, back in September 2012:

Last but not least, and speaking of $29 add-ons, we have the new Lightning port. My first thought: it’s about fucking time. The old 30-pin adapter was ugly and cumbersome, and always struck me as one of the most un-Apple-like designs in the company’s history. Its design served several practical purposes — but those purposes only made sense a decade ago. Compatibility with both FireWire (for Macs) and USB (for PCs). The fact that it was designed primarily as a dock connector for heavy hard-drive-based iPods, not a cable connector. It used to lock into place. Remember that? Back then we (and Apple) expected users to charge and sync their iPods by placing them on docks, but it wound up we largely preferred just using cables. The old 30-pin adapter’s usefulness peaked years ago.

What does Apple do when it deems a technology past its expiration date? They abandon it. What do tech writers do when Apple abandons these outdated but ubiquitous technologies? They pitch fits. Happened with the floppy drive. Happened when the original iMac went USB-only. Happened with optical drives. Happens every few years with display adapters.

Friday, 4 November 2016