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Apple 30 Pin vs. Lightning Cable

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 by | Filed Under: iOS, Mac OS, Quick Tips

James asks,

I have a 30 pin cable that came with my portable charger, but it doesn’t fit my iPhone 5. What can I do?

Hi James,

Older Apple devices required a cable with a 30-pin connection at the end. These include iPad, iPad 2 and iPad 3, iPhone 1st generation, iPhone 3 and iPhone 4, and 1st through 4th generation iPod touch.


Apple switched to a lightning cable 2012, and all devices released after that time use this cable. This would include iPhone 5, iPhone 6, iPod touch (5th generation), iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, and iPad Mini.


These devices would be incompatible with a 30 pin charger, unless you were to use an adapter, which Apple does sell, at around $30 or so.


~ Audra

Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “Apple 30 Pin vs. Lightning Cable”

  1. rodzilla says:

    Is making such an expensive charger cable, that is not compatible with any other device, one of those great ideas that Apple is known for, that makes them such a great innovator?

    • cynthia says:

      Apple’s philosophy has always been to make high-quality hardware exclusive to their operating system and their operating system exclusive to their hardware. Their goal is for every Apple user to have the same experience with the same operating system and same devices. Being that the company popularized both the smartphone and the tablet, it’s hard to deny their place an an innovator.

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