by Al Sacco

Free Lightning to 30-Pin Adapter for iPhone 5 Buyers? No Way, No How

Sep 14, 20122 mins
iPhoneMobileSmall and Medium Business

This morning, rumors—and Apple's website—suggested the company would give one free Lightning to 30-pin adapter to all new iPhone 5 buyers.'s Al Sacco suggests that will never happen.

Today a number of tech-news outlets reported that Apple would be providing free Lightning to 30-pin adapters to iPhone 5 buyers, so they could use older accessories with new iOS devices. As soon as I saw the reports, I laughed and checked for a source of the information, because surely it had to be BS.


I was very surprised—shocked, even—to see that the information came from Apple.

“Wow,” I thought, “that is extremely un-Apple of Apple.” The company could be 100 percent certain that a significant percentage of all iPhone 5 buyers would buy at least one Lightning to 30-pin adapter. In other words, the new, smaller iPhone 5 Lightning port represents money in the bank to Apple—a whole lot of money in the bank—based on adapter sales alone. Giving away something it could charge millions of people $30 or more for would be an unprecedented move for Apple.

Alas, all is right in the iWorld; it was a big mistake, and Apple has removed any suggestion of free Lightning to 30-pin adapters from its online shop.

Last month I wrote an article about why Apple should ditch its proprietary iOS dock and use standard ports, as well as why that isn’t going to happen any time soon. Can you guess my number one reason why Apple won’t use standard ports?

If Apple genuinely cared about what was best for its users, instead of just milking them for another $30 or more on top of an already expensive purchase, it would have built standard micro USB and standard mini HDMI-out ports into the iPhone 5, or at least included adapters with all new iPhones. Sure, building in standard ports would mean some design tricks and tweaks, but if other manufacturers, including Motorola, can ship sleek and slim handsets with all standard ports, so can Apple.

Then again, if you want to help cushion Apple’s already plush-pockets, $30 is only $30, right? Right?


(Image via