There's also the concern, mentioned by a number of Macworld staffers around the office, that trying to use an iPhone 5 with an older, 30-pin accessory risks putting a lot of pressure on both the phone's Lightning port and the accessory's dock connector thanks to the additional leverage added by the length of the adapter. We'll see how warranted this concern is once we start testing the new phone and the adapters.
Of course, if you're averse to adapters, or if you've been thinking about upgrading your older accessories anyway, Apple notes that companies are already working on Lightning-connector accessories--during Wednesday's event, Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller specifically mentioned Bose, JBL, Bowers & Wilkins, and Bang & Olufsen. (For the latest in new iOS accessories, follow our weekly roundups.)
More wireless, but still wired
What's perhaps most interesting about the change to the new Lightning connector is that it reflects changes in the ways we're using our iPhones and iPods. As Schiller noted during Wednesday's Apple event, "So much has changed and so many of the things they used to do over the wire can now be done wirelessly. Bluetooth for speakers, headphones; Wi-Fi for audio, syncing; and iCloud for downloading content wirelessly and backup." In other words, Apple doesn't think we need physical connections as much.
Still, physical connections remain necessary for charging, higher-speed syncing, and the best audio quality, to name a few uses. (Don't be fooled by "wireless" charging add-ons--there's still a cable or physical connection somewhere.) Until wireless charging like that found on the new Lumia 920 becomes widespread, and can be added without making the iPhone significantly thicker, we're stuck with cables. And as Schiller told All Things D's Ina Fried, "This is the new connector for many years to come."
Dan Frakes is a senior editor for Macworld, specializing in iOS and iPod accessories.