Why Can’t I Use My Old iPhone Accessories with My New iPhone?

Understanding the Move to Lightning

For most of the near-decade since the introduction of the original iPhone, the iconic device has received power and data through its standard 30-pin connection port. While this older connection type did provide adequate charging and data transfer performance, inherent limitations in its design would eventually spell the end for the familiar connection type.

To replace the old 30-pin connection, the Lightning charger and USB cord was introduced with the release of the iPhone 5. This newest iteration of the device introduced a suite of new and exclusive features, and you can read more about the Apple iPhone at iiNet.

In the wake of the release, many longtime iPhone owners were confused and frustrated by the move to the Lightning standard, as it rendered many of their older peripherals obsolete. However, examining the flaws of the 30-pin connection as well as the advantages of the new input type can shed

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some light on the logic behind the move.

Advantages of Lightning

The new Lightning charger presents a number of tangible advantages over the old connection type, including the ability to be inserted into a device facing in either direction while a 30-pin input had to be specifically positioned in order to deliver a charge or transmit data.

The new Lightning input type is 80 percent smaller than its 30-pin predecessor, allowing designers to devote less space to accommodating the input and design sleeker devices like the iPhone 5. Lightning chargers are also designed to perform more consistently over time when compared with 30-pin peripherals, which often degraded and malfunctioned with use.

Peripheral Standards

Another advantage that Apple established with the move to the Lightning standard is to ensure more uniform performance in peripherals by creating a manufacturer standard. Apple determined that many of the most common issues with 30-pin connection types were even more problematic with 3rd party accessories, and so newer iOS products are programmed to reject 3rd party accessories with an incompatibility message.

Continued Life for Older Accessories

Despite the range of benefits that the move to Lightning offers, Apple also took the upheaval that the switch would cause among veteran iPhone users into account. For this reason, the company makes 30-pin to Lightning adaptors available through its website and authorized retailers to allow users to get more life from their existing iPhone accessories even if they choose to purchase an iPhone 5 or other newer generation Apple device.

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