Analyst: iPhone 5 Lightning connector here to stay

Lightning connector
Lightning an investment for the future

Apple has made a long-term investment into its new Lightning connector for iPhone 5, according to one analyst who has probed the escalating costs of the new components.

The 8-pin solution, which replaces the 30-pin tech for the iPhone 5 handset (available Friday), costs Apple an average of $3.50 (£2.15) per device, compared to $0.40 (£0.24) for the 30-pin connector.

That's an 775 percent increase in costs, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said.

He also said the introduction of Lightning is the biggest increase in iPhone manufacturing costs for Apple.

The Lightning cable itself costs Apple $6.00 (£3.63) a head, Kuo revealed, which is up 233 percent from the $1.80 (£1.10) it was paying suppliers for every 30-pin cable.

10-year investment

The analyst said these escalating costs are a result of the newness of the Lightning technology, which makes it more difficult and expensive to manufacture at this early stage of its lifespan.

This early investment, the cost of which will fall dramatically in years to come, should mean that Apple is unlikely to be in any rush to replace it once again.

Kuo estimated that the Lightning connector will be around for at least five years and perhaps as long as a decade, which would match the lifespan of the 30-pin technology that was introduced in 2003.

Apple will also make money back from licensing the tech to accessory-makers, who're sure to be plotting a host of new speaker docks, adapters, and charging solutions as we speak.

Via Apple Insider

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.