Apple’s new Lightning dock connector will reportedly allow for new type of accessories, as the new connector supports the ability to host USB devices.
According to Japanese blog Macotakara, the ability of Lightning to host USB devices will allow third-party accessory makers to create new kinds of products that were not previously possible with the legacy 30-pin connector. Apple’s new iPhone 5, iPod touch and iPod nano all feature the smaller Lightning dock connector.
Previously, only the iPad has had the ability to host USB devices through the Camera Connection Kit. The Apple-produced accessory allows users to connect USB devices such as cameras and keyboards to their iPad, but not the iPhone.
But now, with Apple reportedly offering built-in USB hosting support in Lightning, accessories such as cameras, keyboards, and other devices could potentially be connected to the iPhone.
Apple’s new Lightning cable and port are 80% smaller than the 9-year old 30-pin iOS device connector that they replace.
Apple has announced that Lightning will be supported by a number of third-party accessory makers, including Bose, JBL and B&W.