Nearly the entire auto industry has finally caught up with the world of consumer electronics, offering a way to connect the iPod/iPhone – be it via USB, Bluetooth or official Apple connector – in most new cars. The 30-pin Apple connector was first incorporated in a car by BMW in 2004 and was significant because it meant inclusion of a connector that only works for a single brand's products.

Automakers like Audi and Volkswagen also offer an iPhone-spec cable, allowing access to your music through the car's own audio system and changing tracks on the steering wheel controls.

Now, prepare to be frustrated.
Now that everyone finally offers the same cable for the iPhone, Apple may reportedly move to a 19-pin connector that is smaller than the current 30-pin cable. If the reports are true, then the new iPhone 5 will be instantly incompatible with the built-in 30-pin connectors that come equipped in Kia, Hyundai and Nissan vehicles.

It may not be cause for a total freak out, as most vehicles on the market offer integrated USB ports, which can accept any cable where at least one end is USB. As long as Apple doesn't decide to piss everyone off and move away from as USB on the non-iPhone end, you will still be able to connect the next-gen iPhone this way.

Additionally, most new vehicles come equipped with Bluetooth, and an increasing number of these vehicles allow for streaming music. If all else fails, you can tell the new 19-pin connector to take a hike and stream your music wirelessly.



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  • 110 Comments
      Thipps
      • 2 Years Ago
      Apple not keeping up with the times.......MICRO USB for gods sake!
      Mike Gaudiello
      • 2 Years Ago
      If Apple were smart (and I say this as an iPhone/iPad owner), they'd just convert to MicroUSB and use MHL over 5-pin or 11-pin. Pretty sure it can do all of the stuff that Apple's HDMI-to-30-pin connector does, and I think it can also send power to the device (no need for a 2nd power adapter when using the HDMI dongle with your TV methinks). It'd be instantly compatible with ALL of the other **** out there, because let's face it, MUSB is the standard and almost every non-Apple phone uses it now.
        marcosc
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mike Gaudiello
        Apple is smart. They make more money by forcing Apple users to purchase additional baggage. Unlike Windows and Android. Buy Apple pay more. Buy Windows/Android get more...
      Cruising
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well dam, maybe the car manufacturers should tell Apple screw you. We are not going to change poo unless you decide to conform with the rest of the industry standards. We have better things to spend our R&D time on than stupid cable connections.
      Nzo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Moral of the story is dont buy products that force you to use proprietary connections.
      sick of stupidity
      • 2 Years Ago
      Stupid article...there will be an adapter...everyone quit panicing and go back to being bored...
      CS Boy
      • 2 Years Ago
      haha apple lemmings, why do people think their stuff is innovative. their hardware is outdated, they are suing folks who make some of the hardware for their very product, they lock you in to only what they want you to do or see.
        A_Guy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @CS Boy
        I don't use Apple computers, but I do use an iPhone. I actually got one when they first came out in 07. My first Apple product ever. Say what you want, but Apple's iPhone design flipped the cell phone market on it's head. I do think their innovation has stagnated to some degree now, but you gotta give them credit for pushing the cell phone market forward out of the Nokia and Motorola hell we were in for far too long. I think today's other hardware manufacturers have made some cool phones for Android, but none of them are innovative. They are basically just slight evolutions from the original iPhone. The best you can say is that the screens are larger and some have 3D screens, which is cool but no game-changer.
        Gorgenapper
        • 2 Years Ago
        @CS Boy
        The touch screen and dumbed down simplicity of iOS are the innovations. The rest is marketing and strategy. Switching to Android when my contract is up. The ironic thing is, I'm typing this on an iPhone.
      Dr. Claw
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cars should have USB ports rather than Apple-specific ports; that's what many aftermarket stereo makers eventually did when the iPhone nonsense started. In any case, if this is true, then Apple can go eat a pile of poo.
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is why you need to avoid Apple's closed, proprietary devices with their closed, proprietary connectors. And you wonder why Apple is so hated...
        187fl
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants
        Apple has been using that same connector since the first ipods. All other phones and and devices change their connectors almost every new generation. I am sure apple will keep this new connector for a long time. People need to know technology changes for the better. And the sales state that Apple is not hated.
          Nemebean
          • 2 Years Ago
          @187fl
          Actually, almost all other phones and devices have standardized on micro USB, while Apple is introducing yet another proprietary connector that won't work with anything else.
      tylermars.design
      • 2 Years Ago
      Or they could just use mini/micro usb connectors like the rest of the world.... What's that? There are other phones out there besides the iphone?!?!?!
        John Hughan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @tylermars.design
        Have you ever looked at the pinout spec for the 30-pin connector? It can do MUCH more than regular USB, e.g. line-level audio out, headphone-level audio out, digital audio out, composite video out, etc. It's far more than just a normal USB port arbitrarily stretched out to 30 pins. Granted, Apple could just create a ton of standard connectors on their phones to a good chunk of that like lots of Android phones do, but then you have ports all over your phone and frankly that looks ugly.
      marcosc
      • 2 Years Ago
      Auto manufactures have missed the boat by drinking the Apple cool-aid. There are plenty of Android users out there too. Message to Auto manufactures and everything Audio, go wireless!.
        John Hughan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @marcosc
        Yeah, they've already done that. Problem is that only the very latest BT Audio spec (AVRCP 1.4) supports full library browsing wirelessly, otherwise you're just stuck with basic playback controls and maybe metadata if your hardware supports 1.3. And as others have pointed out, last time I checked, Android devices can use the standard USB ports that are increasingly becoming the norm in cars.
      JD444
      • 2 Years Ago
      For those iPhone sheep that try to justify this as an evolution of technology: you guys are true fanboys. Technology evolves if there's a need for it or if it brings advantages. This new plug is STILL only for charging and data... which a standard micro-USB already does. How come the standard 3 prong household AC outlet hasn't "evolved" over the decades?
        AnalogJesse
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JD444
        "How come the standard 3 prong household AC outlet hasn't "evolved" over the decades?" I hope you're kidding. The 3 pong AC outlet is almost completely different today than it was originally due to safety reasons.
          JD444
          • 2 Years Ago
          @AnalogJesse
          3 prong AC receptacles have been around mid 60s. We're still using 3 prong receptacles. Yes, there's now GFCI but it's still a 3 prong receptacle. Change for improvement is understandable. Change for the sake of making more money is greed. That's why I said decades. I did NOT say it has NEVER changed.
      Stefan
      • 2 Years Ago
      And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why we should NOT support proprietary formats! Yes, they are most widely used at this moment. But clearly, things change. We shouldn't empower companies to hold our devices ransom these ways. Certainly, cars must be the most dangerous form of commitment to proprietary tech. Thankfully BMWs still have USB ports.. which work just fine for every other device.
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