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these outdated but ubiquitous technologies?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.