Apple Intros Lightning Dock Connector with iPhone 5

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When Apple introduced the new iPhone 5 during its special media event on Wednesday, it did away with the dock connector that's been part of the iPod and iPhone ecosystem for years and unveiled the new Lightning connector. Lightning is substantially smaller than the 30-pin dock connector it replaces, and is reversible so users don't have to worry about accidentally plugging it into their iPhone upside down.

Apple's Phil Schiller shows of iPhone 5Apple's Phil Schiller shows of iPhone 5

The Lightning connector is about 80 percent smaller than the old dock connector, offers an eight-signal design and Apple says it's more durable than the older connector, too. Unfortunately, it connects to your computer via USB 2, which means users shouldn't expect to see performance improvements when syncing or backing up.

The downside is that accessories that rely on the old style connector won't fit anymore. Apple, however, said it is working with companies to get accessories updated, and it will be selling its own adapter, too.

Apple's Lighting dock connector still relies on USB 2Apple's Lighting dock connector still relies on USB 2

The iPhone 5 will ship on September 21 in the United States, the U.K., Canada, Japan and several other countries. Even more countries will get the new iPhone on September 28.

Apple's media event is still underway, so be sure to check back for more updates and announcements.

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