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back to article Apple outs iPhone micro USB adaptor

It's not only the iPhone 4S that will ship on 14 October - so too will Apple's long-promised dock-to-micro-USB adaptor. Punters eager to "use third-party micro USB cables and chargers to sync or charge your iPhone" will be able to do so for a mere consideration of £8. Apple micro USB adaptor for iPhone Apple promised in …

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Silver badge
Linux

Yet another adaptor...

This is kind of funny considering that a cheap iPhone cable can already be had for less than what Apple wants for their dongle.

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Bronze badge

Indeed - much cheaper

I got my 2nd cable from Poundland, it cost .. Well you can guess how much.

In fairness, it's much shorter than apples. Good for on the desk next to the laptop, not so much for in car use eg while acting as a satnav.

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Facepalm

well, the benefit is in re-usable chargers

I've wondered for 2 decades why every retarded corporation in the world was allowed to ship proprietary chargers, that either end up in your attic or in the trash.

Finally, someone does something about this waste, and you're complaining about a miniscule price difference in the wire used... :P

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Alert

If you call the difference between £8 and £1 'minuscule', can I borrow eight quid?

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Devil

But does it suffer from RAM pack wobble?

No doubt the press release says stuff like "it's wonderful" and "we appreciate everyone who has waited patiently while we’ve worked to get every detail right"... What other phones offer built-in and standard since before the iPhone 4 was launched, Apple has managed to turn into yet another way to fleece a bit more money out of their cult members.

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Gimp

Third-party hardware...

...including cars, speakers, alarm clocks, blood sugar detectors etc. use the Dock connector. It is ubiquitous. You cannot do this with a USB connector. Yes, Apple could simply add such a connector in addition to the Dock connector but why should they? They have complied with an EU directive, and still have the full functionality of the Dock connector.

I'm really sorry, but you moaned because the iPhone was missing the USB connector, and when Apple added it, you find a way to moan anyway! What's next on the list? A missing SD card slot? I've never needed to add storage to my phone. I agree that some people do, but not everybody does.

If Apple added everything you wanted to the phone it would be prohibitively expensive and look like something out of the early-2000s from Nokia.

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WTF?

Third-rate hardware...

If Apple added everything you wanted to the phone you might end up with an Android from HTC, Motorola or (lawyers rub your hands with glee) Samsung

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Anonymous Coward

You can do everything with USB

Everything you can do with the proprietary Apple Dock Connector, can already be done with microUSB.

The difference is, Apple can't claim income (licensing fees) from microUSB as they do now with their proprietary Dock Connector, nor would Apple be able to maintain their iron grip on what third party products are permitted to interface with their iDevices.

It's not about the end user, convenience and flexibility. As usual, it's about Apple maintaining control and increasing revenue (heck, they even get to charge you £8 for another adaptor you shouldn't really need in the first place!)

Only a fanboi would attempt to argue differently.

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FAIL

@Chris Haynes

If manufacturers use a STANDARD interface then the cost for EVERYONE is reduced. Why should I need to buy different speakers for my iPhone from other devices. Why should I need to spend £100 to specify which interface is needed in my new car when Merecedes could have supplied a standard one for free.

USB might not be the perfect interface, but the sooner Apple jumps on the standard bandwagon the sooner their sales will increase even further. I nearly moved to HTC because of the proprietary connector. Converters are NOT the answer.

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WTF?

You can do everything with USB? No!

The dock connector supports way more than just a USB connection, that's why it's so huge. To name just a few, it has:

- Line out

- Line in

- Composite video

- Component video

- Some kind of serial (other than USB, for low-level comms with accessories)

- USB itself

- 12V charging

Ever tried sending component video down USB? Yeah, good luck with that. And if you want to have music on your hi-fi (direct line out) whilst charging via USB, the dock connector will let you do that too. USB can't.

If all the iPods had was a USB connector, they'd lose a massive amount of functionality. That means reducing convenience and flexibility for the end user, the very thing you claim the dock connector prevents. Whoops.

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Linux

...third party hardware

Most 3rd party hardware is just using the iDevice as a glorified hard drive.

Quite a few actual USB devices do the same thing.

There are also much more interesting standard device classes as well.

There's probably nothing that the iThing cable does that can't be achieved with USB and some standard type of device (HID/Storage/Camera).

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I am surprised it allows syncing. Advantages over their own usb cable? other than every other device using the proprietary connector now.

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Boffin

Their own 30-pin plug has connections for video and audio for those awkward composite and component TV adaptor cables. They'd probably do better with mini HDMI these days.

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Devil

That and remote control too

It is a relic of bygone age with a lot of analogue connections including analogue remote lines. Makes integrating it to a car stereo, etc a breeze.

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Anonymous Coward

Looking forward to the extensive El Reg review like the one for the HDMI adapter.

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Facepalm

Facepalm

Missed the point much Apple?

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WTF?

Exactly

Yo dawg, I heard you like charging your phone, so we made a charger for the charger so you can charge your phone from the charger charger.

The idea is to make the PHONE with the micro USB socket, not make an adaptor. Are you supposed to carry this around with the phone?

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Indeed. I'm wondering whether they're just taking the piss to see if the EU gives them a slap for this or not. Meeting your obligation by manufacturing an adapter and then charging for it rather than including it is somewhat wide of the target.

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Question

Does this offer full sync as well or just charging?

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Answer

The article says it does. Second paragraph.

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Facepalm

"to ensure fewer chargers need ship"

One still ships with every mobe, regardless of whether it needs to. I'm all in favour of standardisation in this area, but if it's to have any real effect, chargers should stop shipping with new phones by default, and be bought separate instead. I've got 5 micro USB chargers sitting in my drawers, what am I supposed to do with them?

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Coat

Simple!

"I've got 5 micro USB chargers sitting in my drawers, what am I supposed to do with them?"

You can now charge anyone's iPhone if they've forgotten their charger! Unless they've forgotten their much smaller micro USB adaptor.. oh... wait...

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"One still ships with every mobe, regardless of whether it needs to. "

For now. Once Micro USB has been established as the default for a few years to be sure a decent number of people have one, they can stop shipping them

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Joke

"I've got 5 micro USB chargers sitting in my drawers, what am I supposed to do with them?"

Dunno. Maybe a hemorrhoid cushion will alleviate the discomfort?

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Anonymous Coward

I agree

But not until microUSB has been in the mobile market for several years, so that most households, offices etc. are well seeded with spare microUSB chargers.

By the end of 2013 I'd say there should be no reason to include microUSB chargers with every phone. But as of now, there is (while users transition away from Nokia and other proprietary charger formats).

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Freecycle!

"I've got 5 micro USB chargers sitting in my drawers, what am I supposed to do with them?"

Freecycle.

I have three places I would like micro-USB chargers, and only two chargers... I'm sure there are other people are like me in that they have fewer chargers than they would like.

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Thumb Up

Nail on the head ...

Future phones will ship with the adapter and no charger and no cable, which will become an extra which you can buy if you need it.

So many people have the Apple cables as well that those don't need to be replaced with every iDevice bought. There are so many iPhones out there in total that the percentage of people effectively buying a replacement must be quite high and so not getting a new charger and not getting a new cable is ...... meh !

I still have my old Firewire cables off the iPod Mini .....

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Or how about using them?

I use all mine - 1 by the bed, 1 downstairs, 1 in the car, 1 at work, 1 by the computer... That way there's always a charger or usb lead when we need one..

I also got a couple of mini-micro usb adapters off ebay so that I can also charge the few things I have left with the older mini style but without having multiple cables..

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Happy

"One still ships with every mobe"

I recently bought a very cheap and nasty unlocked backup phone (a bluechip bc500 IIRC) that came brand new with a usb connector and no charger. The charger wasn't missing, there was no space for one in the box. I already had wall and car chargers that work fine with it, so no problem.

Makes sense - I'd rather have something with a common connector (and a couple of quid off the retail price) then have to keep and search for yet another proprietary cable.

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Thumb Up

My recent HTC sensation with micro usb - did not have a charger!

And that's fine as I have plenty, not to mention PCs to plug it into.

So for once the EC seems to have got it right

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Anonymous Coward

New Kindle ships without a charger ($10 extra if you want one)

The new Kindle (not the iPaddish one) ships without a USB-MicroUSB plug adaptor unless you spend an extra $10 for it. I'm surprised they haven't trumpeted the eco-benefits more, though maybe they will in Europe where MicroUSB seems more hip. I've already seen some Yanks denounce this move as some kind of combination of witchcraft and communism.

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Why do I need a title to reply to a post?

Bought SEPARATELY

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Devil

What do do with Chargers?

Got a problem dealing with your old chargers? What kind of idiot buys something that is more nonstandard than it needs to be. Any "micro usb chargers" I might have are the same standard connection on the other end. It's cheaper that way and there's no need for a proprietary connection.

Even my "Apple" chargers have been that way for years.

The only thing we have left that aren't bog standard USB chargers at the wall are the DS chargers.

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FAIL

Bah

This is a prime example of following the letter of the law but not the spirit in which it was intended. Shame on you apple

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Europe copy catting China

Who went for standardising on this USB plug rather earlier.

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Joke

@ ZankerH

Charge your iPhone.

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"If Apple added everything you wanted to the phone it would be prohibitively expensive"

Yeah, that would make a big difference.

"...including cars, speakers, alarm clocks, blood sugar detectors etc. use the Dock connector. It is ubiquitous. You cannot do this with a USB connector."

Huh, the USB connectors I use will be surprised to hear that. And even if it weren't already the case, exactly what would be stopping people from making docks with a universal standard connector instead of Apple's proprietary one? I mean seriously, some of the arguments in favour of Apple and their products are entirely reasonable, but being the only company not to refuse to use a standard charger/connector that users have been demanding pretty much since mobiles have existed really isn't one of them.

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Boffin

@ZankerH

You have a very good point. Modern PSUs (Power Supply Units) are almost indestructible, yet every time you buy a device which needs one, it's included. This means that the number of such PSUs proliferate even though it's unnecessary.

But imagine how annoyed you would be today if you bought a rechargeable-battery powered device which didn't have the charger included in the package?

I doubt anyone is old enough to remember the early days of electrical appliances, but there must have been a time when installing one required an electrician to connect it up to the mains suppy. Standard plug-socket arrangements arrived much later.

The euro-standard PSU (or something like it) should eventually lead to mobes (and other DC-powered devices) being sold without the PSU, but it won't be this year. The PSUs are so cheap anyway that the larger packaging needed to include it is probably a bigger factor.

ObNostalgia: I remember working for MSDS in the early 80's, and hearing engineers speak in hushed tones about one of the senior engineers, who had written a seminal paper on switch-mode power supplies. Standard transformer-rectifier-voltage regulator PSUs were so cheap at the time that I couldn't see the point.

20 years later, I needed to look at buying a PSU for a product my company was designing. I was amazed to find that I could buy (imported from China) a PSU which would accept any AC input from 50v to 300v, at any frequency, and produce any desired DC output, using switch-mode technology. The price per unit was about 3 quid, in quite small quantities. I looked at one and estimated that it would cost me about 15 quid to buy the components - excluding the circuit board.

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Facepalm

Hmmm...so crApple follows the rest of us into HELL!

Anyone involved in the design, creation, and adoption of the absolutely abysmal micro USB interface should be summarily lined up and sent post haste to meet their maker(s). I just bought a phone with this disgusting inferior interface and my first burning question was WHY??????????? This POS design is a huge step backwards. The mini USB interface is much more robust and with its trapezoid shape a breeze to plug in properly. At first I wasn't sure which way to plug in the damned micro USB plug because the port on my phone looks roughly symmetrical. Add to that the heart of the micro USB port is a dainty little silicon connector tab that is begging to be snapped off if someone tries to insert the plug improperly. Talk about retrogressive.

And what happened to the 'Green' rhetoric championing standardizing charging ports to the ubiquitous mini USB? Obviously that worked well but now there is another new 'standard' with no benefit at all that I can see. I do remember somewhere that manufacturers pushed for the change to allow slimmer devices, but just compare the two interfaces side by side and it's easy to see that dog just don't hunt as there just can't be any measurable benefit since the mini USB port is already tiny. And soon the landfills will be full of superior mini USB chargers and accessories. What a freakin' waste!!!

That crApple is adopting this putrid interface with an adapter is the only redeeming aspect of this cesspool of de-innovation. Welcome to the party crApple!

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Anonymous Coward

Stop freaking out

In 5-10 years I predict all phones will be charging using Qi inductive mats.... you'll only need to fat finger your mini/microUSB sockets when travelling or transferring data with your PC (although WiFi may be an alternative wire-free option, and maybe by then we won't even have or need PCs...)

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WTF?

Every single MiniUSB cable I have ever had (and that's alot) has stopped working after a short period of time. Contrasingly, every single MicroUSB cable I have ever had (even el cheapo ones) has worked for a long, long, long period of time.

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Alert

Micro USB breaks the cable, Mini USB breaks the device.

On Mini-USB when extra strain is placed on the connector the result is the socket on the device breaks - the Micro-USB connector was apparently designed so that the plug on the cable itself would be the first to fail (after all it's cheaper to replace a £3 cable than a £500 smart phone). With our fleet of smart phones used by our field staff this seams to stack up - never had to replace a mini-USB cable (apart from ones cats have eaten) but have seen around 10% of our fleet of mini-USB devices have the connector fail. On the micro-USB side I have yet to see a connector fail on the device, but have seen around 15% of cables fail.

Also not all mini-USB chargers charge all mini-USB devices, but fortunately micro-USB ones do

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Anonymous Coward

crApple!

LOL. crApple - you see what he did there? He took the name Apple, and the word Apple, and he put them together as a way of saying: Apple = crap.

crap + Apple = crApple.

Genius. If only there were a Nobel prize for wit.

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Anonymous Coward

Durability - Micro vs Mini USB

Micro USB connectors are designed to survive at least 10,000 plug/unplug cycles. Mini USB connectors have a lifetime of something like half that.

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FAIL

RE: FatsBrannigan

So, he added Apple to Apple and got crApple?

If only there was a Nobel prize for proofreading.

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Anonymous Coward

I'll go with that

I believe blackberrys are very good devices for workplace use, but of the many that have passed across my desk (in my guise as IT person) the number one problem has been inability to charge due to damage to the Mini-usb connector.

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Anonymous Coward

Ya got me there.

I was carried away by my enthusiasm (and by the orderlies but let's not dwell on that)

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Stop

Apple is merely answering the call of its customers. Incase you didn't read the article properly it was requested. Yes OK MAYBE the thing should have been included to begin with. The point is however at least Apple listen to there consumer base. When was the last time you heard Samsung or Nokia bring out a product simply because consumers requested it. I certainly can't think of one.

We moan if they do, we moan if we don't. Its a never ending vicious circle.

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FAIL

wow....

I don't think it's a case of 'listening to there[sic] customers'; it's more a case of listening to the European commission that says that all mobile devices should be charged by micro-usb - because it's universal.

I honestly don't think that apple would have provided this otherwise.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Apple answering the call of its customers"

There are a lot of iPad users that would like Flash support. So where the f*ck is it then?

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