Lighting/30-pin adaptor problems in case snafu

Posted on by Mike Evans

The shoulder either side of the Lightning plug needs shaving down to accommodate iPhone and iPad cases

Today I used the Withings blood pressure monitor for the first time in a couple of months and encountered adapter problems. The monitor has a fixed, built-in cable with the old 30-pin plug. I had taken the precaution of buying Apple's Lightning/30-pin adapter which I thought would solve all connectivity problems.

I hadn't reckoned with the iPhone case, an Otterbox Commuter, which offers excellent all-round protection, including rubber grommets to cover the ports. The grommets were not the problem, however. The hard outer shell of the case doesn't allow Apple's adapter to slip into the port. The shoulders of the unit end up hard against the plastic cover.

This, I suspect, will be a problem with many cases. It seems to me that it is a design fault on Apple's part, all in the interests of clean lines and visual harmony with other adapters produced in the past.

The adapter is deep enough, I suspect, to allow indenting the shoulders either side of the Lightning plug so there would be no chance of fauling cases. It is nonsense to expect case manufacturers to leave a clear area the size of the old 30-pin socket. I solved the problem by connecting to my iPad, but it is likely to be only a temporary solution as the Lightning port becomes universal.

One for the notebook, Sir Jonathan.

by Mike Evans, 22 October 2012

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