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Thread: Lightning Connector Format has an Expected Lifespan of Five to Ten Years

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  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Akshay Masand's Avatar
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    Default Lightning Connector Format has an Expected Lifespan of Five to Ten Years


    KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently broke down the cost of components used in the iPhone 5 and found the Lightning’s ASP (average sales price) to have risen the most compared to the parts in the iPhone 4S. He notes that the new Lightning connector’s cost of $3.50 represents a huge 775% rise in ASP compared to the legacy 30-pin dock connector’s last price of $0.40. The Lightning cable’s $6.00 ASP is a 233% jump from the previous standard’s $1.80 model as well. The spike as a whole is expected as Lightning is a new technology, replacing the nearly decade old 30-pin dock connector first introduced with the third-generation iPod.

    Although Apple’s new plug seems to be similar in size to the Micro USB standard, Kuo believes that the Lightning’s specs are higher, making the connector more difficult to manufacture. The high-tech part includes a unique design which the analysts believes is likely to feature a pin-out with four contacts dedicated to data, two for accessories, one for power, and a ground. Two of the data transmissions pins may be reserved for future input/output technology similar to what is found in USB 3.0 or perhaps even Thunderbolt (though both are just speculations).

    One of the many things people were wondering about Lightning was how long the format would be around. It’s expected lifespan is estimated to be in use for the next five to ten years, almost identical to the now-defunct 30-pin standard. Although the ASP might be a bit high in the first one or two years following its release, the cost is one Apple can likely make back its investment on from accessory sales royalties. Apple is said to be using a Texas Instruments chip for accessory authorization, making it difficult for third party manufacturers to build and sell Lightning-compatible products without paying royalties (a smart move on Apple’s end of course).

    Source: Ming-Chi Kuo via AppleInsider

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand

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    Livin the iPhone Life bigboyz's Avatar
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    If its 5..that's about the same life as the 30 pin connector they have laid to rest. not sure why they didn't go with USB 3.0..oh well must be a reason to this rhyme.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigboyz View Post
    If its 5..that's about the same life as the 30 pin connector they have laid to rest. not sure why they didn't go with USB 3.0..oh well must be a reason to this rhyme.
    Actually, it's closer to twice that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigboyz View Post
    not sure why they didn't go with USB 3.0..
    Many (probably most) iDevice users don't have USB 3.0 ports on their computers/notebooks yet. USB 3.0 cables and ports are not compatible with USB 2.0, so it's just not feasible yet. Maybe the next version in 5-10 years.

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    Green Apple rob_squared's Avatar
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    They certainly had a reason to go with USB 3.0: EU anti-electronic waste laws which basically mandated a USB connector

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigboyz View Post
    If its 5..that's about the same life as the 30 pin connector they have laid to rest. not sure why they didn't go with USB 3.0..oh well must be a reason to this rhyme.
    USB 3.0 would have made zero difference. The flash speed inside iPhones isn't fast enough to even be bottlenecked by USB 2.0 so using USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt would have done nothing.

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    I wanna buy into these stocks

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    Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
    USB 3.0 would have made zero difference. The flash speed inside iPhones isn't fast enough to even be bottlenecked by USB 2.0 so using USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt would have done nothing.
    yep that's why I hate when people see things like USB 3 support for phones as selling points when they dont realize that phones can't even utilize that speed..

  9. #9
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    If the connector is intended for 3 years in the future, of course devices will be capable of utilizing the speed of USB3.0 by then so it's silly to treat its absence from this interface/cable so dismissively.

    In case you guys didn't notice: the Lightning side is not connected straight to USB and the cable has a controller chip. They very well may make USB3.0 Lightning cables... and Thunderbolt Lightning cables and Thunderbolt 2/Thunderbolt B Lightning cables, and so on. Obviously, they have a vested interest in Thunderbolt, so you'll see that Lightning cable first and will probably only see USB3 if it pushes Thunderbolt aside completely.

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