Update: Well, actually, the Lighting to 30-pin adapter does, in fact, carry an audio signal. It also has an analog to digital converter to make that happen. Thanks to the fine journalist Mike Rose at TUAW, we now can put this “controversy” to rest. The ‘iPod Out’ function is actually a feature that lets remote screens in cars or other devices share song info and other graphic displays from the iOS device. If you own a car with this functionality, you’ll still be able to listen to music via the Lightning to 30-Pin adapter, but you won’t get the same graphic display as before.
The source at CNN, below, was incorrect in their assumption, and I erroneously passed that along to you – my apologies.
Here’s the original post, with the source below.
With the new iPhone 5 dock, called Lightning, many folks were understandably concerned about using the new device with their old accessories, like speaker docks and the like. Apple tried to assuage their fears, offering a Lightning Adapter that would allow iPhone 5 users to use their older accessories that still have the old iPod-style 30-pin connector.
Except that it won’t work with many older accessories. (Update: We now know it will work for audio, and that video will)
According to Apple’s website, the $30 adapter “lets you connect devices with a Lightning connector to many of your 30-pin accessories.* Video and iPod Out not supported.”
Which means, basically, that any dock accessory that relied on the Video out or the iPod out pins is out of luck.
These are analog ports, and the new Lightning dock is digital, rendering all the old analog pins from the iPod-style 30-pin dock connector obsolete in one fell swoop. Why Apple didn’t include a digital to analog conversion in there is most likely due to price, but I’m hard-pressed to understand why they aren’t offering one, even at a higher price.
What this means is that older speaker docks that rely on the analog audio or video out will not work, even with the new Lightning adapter. You’ll be able to connect the headphone port to any docks wiht an Aux jack, but that’s not really why you bought the speaker dock in the first place.
What does the Lightning adapter do, then? Well, it seems as if it will allow anything digital to get through, and will allow you to use the charging cables that have come with iPods, iPhones, and iPads since 2003.
While it’s all very good to have a thinner iPhone, and I’m not going to complain too much about having to get new charging cables, it is kind of a let down to know that even with an adapter, many older accessories won’t work. That may be Apple’s price for progress, but it may be a price many users no longer care to pay.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.