Uh oh — your phone’s dying? No big deal, as long as it was made in the past year or two. Just grab a microUSB cable!
Unless it’s an iPhone. Then you’re stuck hunting around for the ol’ white 30-pin — which, while ubiquitous in its own right, isn’t nearly as multi-talented.
Back in 2009, Apple committed to the European Union that they’d support microUSB — but to what extent? Would they ditch the dock connector altogether? Of course not. Would they add a microUSB port to the device as a handy alternative? Probably not. Would they release a Dock-Connector-to-microUSB adapter and call it a day? We thought so — and sure enough, that’s what they’ve just done.
Currently turning up only in Apple’s European stores (sadly), the new dock adapter will go for just £8.00 (around $12.50). Not bad, considering that Apple’s other adapters generally average out between $20 and $30 bucks. It’ll be available on October 14th — which, given that that’s iPhone 4S launch day, suggests that the European iPhone 4S might just include these right in the box.
This adapter should work well with most of the previous generation iPhones, save for the original.
Does a dock adapter really fix the problem? Ehhh, not really. If you can remember to pack an adapter to make microUSB cables work, you probably could have remembered to pack a 30-pin cable to begin with. But given that Apple is unlikely to sacrifice aesthetics to add a secondary charging port any time soon nor would they willingly stop tapping that sweet, sweet “Made for iPhone” licensing nectar any time soon, this is probably about as good as it’s going to get.