As we expected, Apple announced yesterday that the iPhone 5, as well as the updated iPod touch and nano models, will have a new, smaller dock connector. In fact, it's 80% smaller than the current 30-pin connector, which will allow for improved specifications on these revamped devices including thinner profiles and longer battery life. The associated new charging cable is also reversible and purportedly easier to connect. The name for this "revolutionary" new connector? The Lightning port.
This is the first change Apple has ever made to its devices' charging ports since 2003. The company has been using the same connector for the iPhone and iPod for almost a decade, making most Apple dock accessories, like cables and standalone chargers, nearly universal across its products. Generally speaking, a Bose speaker dock has been compatible with all post-2003 iPods (excluding one generation of the shuffle) as well as every iPhone, ever.
But to use your trusty Bose stereo to play music through your new iPhone 5, you'll have to make some adjustments. You'll either need to get a new speaker, or buy a Lightning to 30-pin Adapter for $29 (with $4 s&h) from Apple. During Engagdet's live-blogging of the event, Darren Murph amusingly lamented about the update. "For the record, I'm weeping at the thought of how many adapters I now have to buy," he wrote, before adding, "Oh, the humanity." Consumers with a decade's worth or drawer-full of iPhone and iPod gadgets will likely feel the same way. Anyone looking to upgrade to the iPhone 5 or new iPod should thus keep their fingers crossed that sites like Meritline will start selling knockoff adapters soon (which is a very likely possibility).
The upside, though, is that if you're not upgrading to the iPhone 5 and its necessary accessories any time soon, then you're in luck! Existing stock for iPhone accessories that operate with the tried-and-true 30-pin connector (the "old dock," if you will) should begin to see dramatic discounts. These items won't disappear completely, but, just like the newly-discounted iPhone 4 and 4S, they've become outdated. Ipso facto, they will have to be cheaper than their myriad of newer counterparts, soon to be in stores.
So how low could pre-iPhone 5 accessories go? In the past month, we've seen four different iPhone / iPod dock speakers drop to prices under $20; we wouldn't be surprised if that number increased in the coming weeks and months. Keep an eye on our iPhone accessory deals page, or set up an email alert to receive notification as soon as we post an offer to the site.