iPhone 5 lightning strikes twice: I want my iPhone 4 back, please

iPhone 5 lightning strikes twice: I want my iPhone 4 back, please

Summary: The iPhone 5 has some great features but there's one that it doesn't and it makes me want my iPhone 4 back. Apple's connector blunder makes me want to toss my iPhone 5 out the window or possibly through one.


In my June 11 post, "I got an iPhone 5, am iOS7 ready, and am irritated," I outlined my excitement with my new iPhone and my disappointment that none of my peripherals and cases would work with it. Yes, I know there's been a lot of articles and angst over the new lightning interface but I'm going to add a little more fuel to that well-stoked fire. I love the lightning interface but I also hate it. Apple should have included a 30-pin to lightning converter with each new device, but of course, they didn't. Some third party companies sell them through Amazon for less than $5 USD but the Apple branded ones are close to $40. Either way, I feel that I'm being...taken advantage of...and I want my iPhone 4 back.

It would be nice if there were a trade-in program where people could trade their unwanted phones for an earlier model. It would also be nice if I could have some of the wasted $200 back for the privilege of using the new phone.

Don't get me wrong, I don't like the 30-pin connector. It's large, unreliable, slow, and "handed" (meaning there's only one way to plug it in). I love the new lightning connector but millions of devices were made compatible with the old connector and I'm not going to rebuy everything. I'm just not.

I bought my wife a cool new stereo last year that has the 30-pin dock on it. My daughter has a smaller version of it. Our cases, other peripherals, even my iPhone connector for my Cube is 30-pin. I'm angry about this and I just want my iPhone 4 back.

I suppose that when these phones wear out or when Apple decides to end support for them, we'll switch to something else. We have five iPhones—four of which are 30-pin, four iPads—one of which is 30-pin, and several expensive peripherals—all of which are 30-pin.

Even the new products that companies send me for review still have the 30-pin connectors*. Apple has cost us all a lot of money and I'm not happy. I'm a very dissatisfied customer.

I should have listened to my oldest son who wanted and got a Microsoft Surface. I never hear any complaints out of him about it—and if you knew him, you'd understand how significant that is. I also told my mother-in-law not to buy an iPad, so she got a Galaxy Tablet. I did inform her about the potential for Android's love of electric power, so she was warned. I think she should have waited for the scaled-down Surface that so many predict will be on shelves by Christmas.

We all should have waited, since my daughter only plays Minecraft on her mini and my wife only uses hers for email, Pinterest (ugh), and Facebook (double ugh). I use my iPad 4 for email, taking notes, the random App review, and TriggerFist but not much else. I'm thinking we could have saved a lot of money by buying gadgets with USB connectors and been a heck of a lot happier.

So, my solution to the iPhone 5 problem is to return to the AT&T store where I got my iPhone 5 and to see what I can do about getting an iPhone 4 or 4S back because this is just an intolerable situation for me.

I think this is my last straw with Apple products. I don't really like Android ones either, so don't go there. I don't know what I'll do for a personal phone. Perhaps I'll use a Nokia Windows phone since they're cool—brick heavy but cool and they all use USB—you know USB that's compatible with everything, yeah, that USB.

It would be really nice if Apple could just use USB like everyone else. This whole proprietary, "we have to be different" thing is liable to make me go to Cupertino and hurl the damn thing through one of their windows. I realize that's extreme but that's the way I feel.

So you're probably saying, "Just buy a converter." That would work but not very well. It adds length and another wonky connection to an already delicate connector. A converter would only work on a couple of our peripherals—not all of them. I wouldn't risk my investment in the iCrap that we have nor would I risk damaging my peripherals in the process.

To say the least, I'm frustrated. At the high end, I'm very angry. I was going to try to be cool with the new lightning connector but I just can't. It's not worth it. I'm not going to be a victim of Apple's folly anymore.

I can't live with this iPhone rage.

I want my iPhone 4 back. I'll let you know how that situation goes in another post.

What do you think? Is my anger justified or not? What are my options for going back to an iPhone 4 or 4S? Talk back and let me know.

*The latest is the really cool iRig KEYS universal portable keyboard that I received for review. You can buy a lightning cable but it ships with a 30-pin. Who can blame them? Apple didn't include a converter, so why should anyone else?

Topic: Apple


Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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  • No Whining

    Would you like some cheese with that?
    • SRSLY! Not only does he whine, he can't decide what he's whining about.

      He likes Lightning, he hates lightning. He wants the 30-pin connector back, but he doesn't like the 30-pin connector. He's got a ton of Apple gear, but now he thinks he should have waited, and got Microsoft stuff. FFS, get over yourself.

      The solution is simple, Gazelle all that Apple equipment and go buy Surface RTs for yourself and the rest of your family. Your used iPads will probably get your more money than a new RT will cost. You profit, and we don't have to read your whiny rants any more. Win-win!
      • I'll remember this the next time you complain about Microsoft

        "FFS, get over yourself."

        Fair enough?
      • Or simply ... get an adapter

        Is that really so hard to think?? If you invested in a lot of gear, and adapter is a SIMPLE and relatively cheap solution compared to any other choice.
        • Did you not read the article

          or was it updated after your comment?

          Either way, he's covered that now.
          Little Old Man
        • The adapter should be included for free

          Since Europe requires that all devices use a USB port Apple needs to include the adapter with the phone here in the US the way I heard they do in Europe.

          The way I look at it, If i'm spending $200 and signing a 2 year contract, the least they can do is ensure backwards compatibility with my existing devices.

          If I have to purchase new accessories then I might as well look at the Galaxy platform. At least the Galaxy's have a replaceable battery and a SD card expansion slot
          John Bucsek
          • Hey, why stop there?

            They should give you the entire phone as well. Heck, they should pay you to use it. After all, if they don't you will 'look at' the Galazy du jour...

            Have fun with Android. LOL.

            New device connector is decent. The 30 pin was over 10 years old. This article is a WHINE fest for zdnet crowd. I guess the whining author knows his crowd--that's about the nicest thing I can say about it.
        • 30 pin bluetooth a2dp

          My wife made almost the same complaint about all her accessories when she got her iphone 5. A $20 30 pin to bluetooth adapter later and all is well again in my household.
      • agree but

        I agree on most of your comment but... gazelle? seriously? they are a rip off.. he would be better off and make more money selling all that stuff on ebay.....especially the ipads.
        Jose Kuervo
  • Hmmm

    I can't stand that old connector. The lightning connector is nice and small like a standard phone USB, but locks in snug and tight (unlike most other phones.)

    I don't have a lot of older accessories, so its no biggie for me, but wouldn't having 2-3 adapters be enough?
    • Not really

      If you'd read the whole post, you'd have noticed that he does say that an adapter works for SOME devices, but it's not a good solution. If you're familiar with third party products using the 30 pin connector, you'll know that even though they work, the connection isn't always too firm. The 30 pin connector is way too fragile for moving stuff around and wears out easily. Many accessories were made for you to pop in your device on top of them, having nothing but the connector itself (and a little rounded frame around it) to hold your device in place (like speakers and such). So, add an adapter to one of those and you'll get an iphone being balanced over nothing but a 1cm connector with nothing around it to keep balance or holding it in place. Yeah, an adapter would work with a charger or some other accessories, but most of them would make you risk both devices.
      • Not buying it

        I spent my college years working as a musician, a business where EVERYTHING is about converters, to get it hooked up to the sound system. You just have to use one that's made well and is sturdy.
        • Not a good comparison

          Did your equipment sit in form fitted docks? In some cases adapters are fine but specifically in the case of docks, they do not work well. And considering how popular iphone docks are, adapters are unusable in many many instances.
          • Bad Example

            Since the iphone 5 is a different shape than the iphone 4 or iPhone 3, they would not sit correctly in a form fitted dock anyway.
          • No, it is a good example

            There are minor differences in shape, yes, but there are minor differences in shape between most iphones and ipods. Dock companies deal with this by providing shims that make up the minor differences in shape.

            The adaptor is not a minor difference in shape. It cannot be gracefully accomodated with a shim.
          • its more than just the width

            the iphone5 is also .25" taller, so it may not fit gracefully in many docks even with a shim.

            In addition, if it was the same connector, you still have to buy the shim.

            So its a bad example.
          • Oh brother

            Buy the shim? These docks COME WITH SHIMS. What is wrong with you apple fanboys?

            Most docks have no limitations on the height of the device, certainly not any limitations that would prevent a 0.25" taller iphone from otherwise working. Most docks DO have limitations as to what will fit at the bottom. Most docks will not accomodate big bulky adapters at the bottom. The ones that do end up looking EXTREMELY ugly thanks to the huge ugly adapter.

            But I forgot, apple consumers don't mind ugly otherwise they wouldn't buy apple. They would buy Nokia.
          • What is wrong with you MS fanboys?

            Are you saying that existing docking devices people own that came with the 30 pin connector which someone has had for a few years also came with a shim designed for an iphone that was not even released then?

            You also claim height is not an issue for the phone, but somehow putting a small connector which about an inch tall and no wider than the older iphones the docks were designed for won't fit?

            Who is the one that fails in logic?
          • What is wrong with you MS fanboys?

            Yoshipod you rock!
          • Like I wrote below

            It is fascinating that this "MS fanboy" knows more about how iphones and docks work than the apple fanboys.