Despite setting sales records and drawing praise for its zippy performance and large screen, Apple’s new iPhone is causing headaches, and not just as the harbinger of a major map catastrophe. The problem: The new “Lightning” connector, in all its skinny glory, has laid waste to millions of existing iPhone accessories, affecting customers and gadget designers alike.
Apple’s previous interface, the 30-pin connector, serviced over 400 million iPhones and iPads since 2003. The ubiquity of that connector spawned a market for accessories worth $20 billion a year. Inventors managed to use it to turn iOS devices into everything from guitar effect pedals to FDA-regulated medical devices.
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