Monday, November 12, 2012

Another take on the lightning connector

Everyone has been complaining that Apple has switched to the lightning connector because they want to make more money and force everyone to change their devices to the newer ones.

Yes, I believe that they could be one of the reasons why they do it, but I believe that this is not the reason why Apple did it. Think about it. A whole ecosystem was built around this connector that was unchanged for almost 10 years. What other reasons would Apple have to disrupt this whole ecosystem?

Personally, I find that the reasons could be as easy as the position of the headjack. Yes... It sounds a bit anal but you can try to analyse the way you use the iPhone. For e.g., if you have a habit of putting the iPhone in your pocket, you will usually position it such that the iPhone is facing downwards. If you have your earphones plugged in, you will need to position the phone awkwardly in your pocket.

It makes sense that the headjack be positioned at the bottom but if you look at the bottom of the iPhone, you have a problem. There is not enough space below to position the headjack and the speakers all at the same place. Therefore, the only possible way to move the headjack down is to either shrink the connector, or make the iPhone bigger.

You might ask why not make the iPhone bigger like the Samsung phones. Well, if the phone is any bigger, the phone will be rather uncomfortable if you put it in the pocket. I tried putting the Galaxy Note II and the S3 and I don't quite like the way it is hitting me when it's in my pocket. Furthermore, playing with the screen size in any way will cause problem to their hundreds of thousands of apps in their AppStore and may cause problems in the way all the Apps will be displayed within the iPhone. Needless to say that the bigger the screen size, the more expensive the phone will be.

Therefore, the only least disruptive way for Apple is to shrink the connector instead of increasing the screen size. To keep the costs down, they have to make sure all the devices use this new connector so that they could keep the cost down through volume manufacturing.

Well, this is just personally why I think Apple did it, other than the fact that it is quite cool that you can connect the lightning connector any way you want, unlike the 30-pin connector where you can only connect it in one particular manner. Now you can actually put the iPhone in your pocket naturally, and the earphones will naturally go out of your pocket towards your ears.

It could be that Apple wanted to make more money though. Just something to think about...

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