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iPhone 5's shrunken Lightning port: what's the situation with accessories?

Thanks to the steady stream of iPhone rumours that preceded Wednesday’s launch night, we were already aware of many of the design changes revealed by Tim Cook and co in California. Naturally, speculation about that bigger screen, aluminium casing and 4G LTE connectivity brought a fair amount of excitement in the build-up, but news of that shrunken dock connector on the other hand, had many of us concerned.

Consumers were worried that their extensive and expensive list of accessories could become obsolete with the bottom-port redesign, and though Apple has confirmed it is selling an adaptor, some will remain unhappy.

Primarily, because the thing will cost £25. Certainly not cheap for a simple little device that you are effectively cornered into buying if you want to use your current speakers, and other 30-pin connector accessories, with the new iPhone. Also, Apple notes that “some 30-pin accessories are not supported” by the adaptor, meaning many older devices could still become redundant. Video output is not supported either.

The company was extolling the virtues of the new Lightning connector, as it is called, on Wednesday, and the new technology will have to appear genuinely worthwhile to soften the financial blow and convince many of the change. Advantages include the fact that the new Lightning cable (which is included in the box) can be inserted either way up to save you fumbling around for the right angle, and the new slimmer design of the iPhone 5 itself has been attributed to the 80 per cent narrower port.

The firm also revealed that audio manufacturers Bose, JBL, Bowers & Wilkins and Bang & Olufsen are already working on products for the new connector, so we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for swanky new accessories to accompany the phone’s release. Apple was quieter on the speed and performance of the connector however, so you’ll have to wait for ITProPortal’s iPhone 5 review to see how Lightning fares in this department.