back to article iPhone 3G not compatible with existing accessories

"I've just fallen foul of the fact that the new iPhone 3G is no longer compatible with a countless number of my existing iPod accessories." "The problem is that, whilst it may work after a fashion in some, it won't take a charge. "The cause of this problem apparently lies in the fact that the iPhone 3G, unlike its predecessor …


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  1. Kevin Cold


    Apple published years ago that they are not going to be using the firewire pin anymore for charging on future products. It's not Apple's fault that your products didnt read the spec doc.

  2. pctechxp
    Thumb Down

    Apple screws you again

    Jobs really knows his market, a bunch of morons that will buy anything if you stick an Apple logo on it.

    Tell me folks, if Apple launched a brand of teabags/cofee that was 3-5 times more expensive than your regular brand would you buy just on the basis that it carries your beloved logo? The answer would probably be yes.

  3. Mark Bowyer

    Why have you just noticed this for the 3G?

    This was just as much the case with the original iPhone - and is why for instance the PowerMonkey Xplorer needs a new iPod dock connector adapter for them. My car FM transmitter handles it fine, though.

    Doesn't make it any less annoying. Just makes you slow.



  4. Dominic Bradbury

    Late for work

    Doesnt work with JBL On Time either ... cheers Apple!

  5. Ian Wellock

    Who exactly is going to complain?

    The accessory manufacturers now get to make a trivial modification to their kit, and sell it at an inflated price, and ensure that all 3G iPhoners will have to buy that version and no other. Isn't this a win-win for them and Apple?

    The only people likely to suffer from this are us poor loyal supporters and we've never been the main consideration up till now, so why should that change?

  6. Ravi
    Thumb Down

    Bloody Crapple, so my Dension ICELink is now useless.

    I can't stand it. Let's name all the things they 'control' over the devices we pay for

    1- which dock accessories will work and won't (for no good reason as they could have connected the 12v connectors)

    2- the old iphone docks no longer fit, nor did they include any with the current phone.

    3- they dont let you add music from additional PCs. Only from that single authorized computer for non itunes store music additions...

    4- you can't delete songs from playlist or player on the fly.. you need itunes.

    I could go on. but I'm disgusted by Apple and can't wait to switch to Nokia when they bring their touch screen model to market.

  7. alistair millington
    Jobs Horns

    Just because

    Someone tells you not to make user of something that works and works well on an existing model, doens't mean people won't use it.

    Jobs should have adapted his mind set and made it work so all those accessories worked on the new model. But he doesn't and has never thought of what the customer actually wants.

    But apple like to be different and want to change the way things work, so coming out with one thing then scrapping it and coming out with something else that is new under "the emperors new clothes" idea that it was always like this and will never be the same again.

    But given Apple have limited their own accessories shows you that Apple has indeed cocked up.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Reg Reader in X's Accessory Doesn't Work With Y Shocker!

    See title.

    Seriously, they're different products. I wouldn't expect iPod accessories to work with the iPhone, so it's a bonus to me that even some of them do.

    Mine's the one with "<-- I'm with stoopid" on the back, ta.

  9. dervheid

    Ha Ha Ha (clunk)

    Just laughing my cock off!

    Nice one, Apple!

  10. Steve Evans

    Missed opportunity...

    Come on Apple, you've missed sales opportunity here... (Now I never thought I'd say that!)

    You should have connected the 12v pins to something critical inside so the iPhone exploded. You're in the clear because you did warn everyone not to use them a few years ago. For the fanboiz this will be akin to removing an alcoholics liver, and have them running for their nearest iPhone stockest for a new "fix".

    Mine's the one with the Nokia in the pocket :o)

  11. Sam

    Disclaimer..I hate microsoft as well, and linux still needs to be more friendly.

    But I have to ask the question.

    Why would any intelligent person buy something that had "customer lock in" written all over it?

  12. Webster Phreaky
    Jobs Halo

    Not Apple's Fault

    This isn't Apple's fault. It's the manufacturers of said accessories fault for building them to use an obsolete power source.

    Apple announced their intention to stop using the 12V Firewire Pin a very long time ago.

    The information has been there, and as registered "Made for iPod" accessory makers, they really should've read the specifications and made changes long before the current models of iPods and iPhones were released.

  13. Biggles
    Jobs Halo

    Did someone say Apple are releasing some new Tea and Coffee?

    Where can I buy these iBeverages?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple dick-around with everything

    They charge $3 per item before they let you buy the connectors, plus you need to buy their encryption processor (another $3) to access anything off the screen, you were allowed to paste images to the screen on an ipod, now only one every 30 seconds. the encryption details are subject to change between generations of product. they are the worst company to deal with in the world, you get 3 "questions" before you start paying per hour for support. Backwards compatibility is never considered, but then it did nearly break microsoft, and despite them creeping with lawyers, the ipod UI is tons better than all the others.

  15. Jayson berger

    Apple is a Consumer Electronics company

    Apple is a Consumer Electronics company,

    they will constantly obsolete their own equipment and partner equipment to encourage new hardware sales.

    That's all part of the game and they play it well.

  16. Simon Miles
    Jobs Halo

    Old news.

    Since it still works fine i still use my 3rd gen ipod, which came bundled with firewire cable, mains charger, inline remote, case, and dock. Now all of this is sold seperately, and the apple universal ipod charger is incapable of charging my beastie. If my charger breaks i will likely have to buy a whole new ipod, which MUST be lack of planning from Apple, they surely wouldn't have planned it that way?

  17. Steve Foster

    In Other News...

    ... pope reveals he's a catholic.

  18. TheManCalledStan

    Who exactly is going to complain?


    The "trivial" modification to a production line that was designed to return a profit after so many hundreds of thousand units had been made and sold...

    The minor issue of negotiating with suppliers for additional materials...

    The minor issue of testing the modification to destruction via alpha, then beta before releasing into the public...

    Then having to produce the hundreds of thousands of units again to recoup your investment and begin to make a profit...

    I don't think you realise how pissed off the accessory guys are, it might drive some under as they won't be able to refinance...

  19. Christopher Rogers

    @poor loyal supporters

    Poor? You can still afford to be a fanboi so tough luck.

  20. Darren Coleman
    Black Helicopters

    Re: pctechxp

    "Tell me folks, if Apple launched a brand of teabags/cofee that was 3-5 times more expensive than your regular brand would you buy just on the basis that it carries your beloved logo?"

    Only if you could see the logo at the top of the cup after you'd made it, otherwise how else would you be able to make sure your colleagues knew you were drinking it?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Ian Wellock

    "The only people likely to suffer from this are us poor loyal supporters"

    "Supporters"? Apple aren't a football team, you know.

  22. MrWeeble
    Jobs Halo

    re Apple iTea

    I'm gonna wait for the Bono backed Product(REDBUSH) iTea out later in the year at 20 times the price of regular tea

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    it is called "forced obsolescence"

    Suck it you apple iTards. That's the price of admission to the cult of Steve.

    There will be some point in time when you all figure out how much control you have given up to Mr. J.

  24. Stephane Mabille

    iCoffee / iTea announcement


    Please read the notice carefully, Apple release a kb article years ago: iCoffee 3.0 will NOT be compatible with the old iMilk. Any attempt to use your old iMilk with the new iCoffee 3.0 will render it unusable. (You'll notice the "grainy aspect" taken by your old iMilk. The special iSour taste alert will be noticeable.

    Traditional iSugar (the demerara 2.0) on the other hand is currently supported, as long as the new iSpoon adaptor is used. (use of any 3rd party spoon will void your warranty).

    Of course those new accessories are not compatible with the iTea announced today; the iCup accessories line has been especially developed to reflect the new product unique abilities. The revised iMug line is perfectly adapted to the iCoffee.

    Mine is the one with the coffee stain on it.

    PS: As long as the iTunes/Starbucks agreement is still in place there is no risk to see iCoffee/iTea; Jesus phone owners can still enjoy being ripped of downloading £0.79 iTunes songs on their rip-off iPhone while drinking their £3.50 coffee....

  25. Richard

    Radio Remote

    I am most decidedly the kind of phanboy most readers love to hate, but I must admit to be extremely miffed by the fact that Apple's own (otherwise excellent) Radio/Remote control does not function with either of the iPhones and the iPod Touch. This is a real shame as it would be a welcome accessory to a phone which doesn't do radio (notwithstanding the streamed version) and has a perfunctory remote as part of the head-set which is far inferior to the one which I own. One would think that this could be enabled in a (dare I say) simple firmware update. If others have been irritated by this I urge you to use Apple's feedback pages to have a word in their corporate shell-like.

    The Firewire charging issue is annoying too. Come on Apple - get a grip!

  26. matthé


    i think starbucks has got the times 3-5 market covered...

  27. Francis Vaughan
    Thumb Down

    And this is new?

    And in other late breaking news el Reg announces that a user has discovered that his old Nokia 3.5mm charger won't fit his new Nokia phone's 2mm socket.

    I really don't know what pisses me off more. The poor standard of journalism, the pathetic attempts to try to find some, any, trivial fault with an Apple product, or the predictable bleating of the anti-Apple fanbios.

    What is news, is that having invented Firewire, Apple are slowly but surely abandoning it. This is both sad, and worthy of comment and analysis. Not that I expect anything so insightful from the modern el Reg. A couple of years ago yes, but now, not much hope.

  28. /\/\j17

    Bloody Microsoft...

    ...always launching new products that don't work with one another because you can't get Fista drivers, etc.

    Not like that Apple, the manufacturer who shouts about how everything just works together...

  29. Tony Hoyle

    Get an external power brick

    Get hold of the kensington 4-in-1 ipod charger. That has a passthrough connector that allows you to charge whilst listening. Works reasonably well if a bit ugly.

    I don't see why apple removed this.. they must have known what was going to happen. 12v is easy to get in a car.. 5v much less so and it mean your in-car accessory now needs a power brick.

  30. mr_greedy

    Fried iPhone with chips?

    Purely conjecture this, but I buggered up a 1st gen iPhone using a non-Apple speaker dock. It got very hot. Now it doesn't charge properly.

    Trawling the hackint0sh forums, it seems a fairly common fault.

    The IC controlling the charging gets a little 'warm', ruining the logic board.

    So, instead of redesigning the charging circuitry - maybe they've just pulled the 12v pins (with they've been saying they were gonna do for a while now)

    But... I dunno.

  31. ade

    They have form....

    My iPod Classic will not allow you to output to the TV unless you buy their own £30+ cable.

    What is more insidious is the trick that some accessory companys are pulling: they sell a device like a docking station which "connects to a TV" and is "iPod Classic/Touch compatible" however, what they mean is you can connect an iPod Video to the TV but the docking station supports the Classic/Touch in audio mode only. They do not go out of their way to point this out - ask me how I know!!

    What is worse is that I haven't seen ANY of the major Apple accessory sellers flogging a product that connects the iPod Classic/Touch to a TV. So I am stuck with Aplles own offering.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The great thing is that one of the accessories that no longer works is the Apple iPod HiFi. I have one - it works OK with the first gen iPhone, but not the 3G. Smooth.

    I think the reasoning behind this is space - the 12V pins were for charging via FireWire, they dropped syncing over FW ages ago, so it looks like they saved a few mm on the 3G's innards by losing the circuitry that meant you could still charge over Firewire.

    As used in their own iPod HiFi (last sold in September 2007). Bless.

  33. Iain
    Thumb Down


    If my mains charger (which only works over the 12V pins) wasn't Apple-branded, I wouldn't mind so much.

  34. Chad H.

    I read about this weeks ago

    I read about this weeks ago, and the register is just reporting it now? I see the nose for news isnt what it used to be.

    Besides, its the accessories manufactuturers fault. Apple said "Don't use it", they ignored apple. Sure, it sucks, and its questionable as to why apple did it, but its not apples fault they were ignored.

  35. Gis Bun
    Thumb Down


    Apple is greedy. Plain and simple. You go into their Apple store and you'll see accessories up the wazoo. You go into an electronics store and you'll see a few iPhones and a couple rows full of accessories from apple, Belkin and others. It's a multi-million dollar industry. Why would Apple be stupid enough to have older accessories work with new ones?

    Just like buying toner. Why do you think each manufacturer has what it seems like one toner cartiridge model per printer model. They could stardardize but they can make more money (and kill off any cheapo versions) by making each model just slightly different.

    One of many reasons why I wouldn't by anything from Apple. Proprietary.

  36. Steve

    Re: And this is new?

    "And in other late breaking news el Reg announces that a user has discovered that his old Nokia 3.5mm charger won't fit his new Nokia phone's 2mm socket."

    Yes, but at least Nokia included an adapter in the box that lets me plug my old 3.5mm charger in...

    One day I might remember where I put it.


  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    no just trying to save money for a voltage regulator, and the space to heatsink it.

    Dropping 12v to 3v or whatever it charges at is a lot more trouble than 5v. and will make a lot more heat. getting rid of that heat takes up space that could be used for something else, like say... a 3G chip.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    @Tony Hoyle

    "your in-car accessory now needs a power brick"

    I don't think you understand the issues involved in converting 12v to 5v, particularly at the astouding current limits imposed by the USB standard (which the 5v pins are).

    I mean, seriously, I've done a similar job with a 78l05 surface mount chip, with appropriate capacitors (free-wired, no pcb) in an area of about 10x5x3mm - not exactly 'a power brick'... it'd be trivial to build it into a dock connector (which I assume is what the linked product is, although I can't be bothered to click it).

    Just because 12v is common in a car (which it isn't - it may be a 12v battery, but will be about 14.5v while chargin ie engine running), doesn't mean you need to panic about trying to get 5v.

    Still, no reason apple couldn't build in such a small chip!

  39. Eric

    How can you possibly be mad at Apple?!?!?!

    They're giving you the privledge of purchasing new Apple products. And when those are obsolete in a year you get to purchase MORE APPLE STUFF!!!

  40. GumboKing

    Re: They have form...

    I was also annoyed that they had changed the the video on the touch so it wouldn't work with older docks. Thankfully, I had not purchased the dock for my Yamaha Receiver before I found out.

    Yamaha has since released a new version of their dock (the YDS-11) which will display saved videos and YouTube ones, charge the touch and allow for some remote control functions through the receiver.

  41. vincent himpe


    Now there is an idea. Soon we'll have apple-labeled apples in the store.

    Can i get a cup of apple-juice ?

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Not just the iphone but ipod/kenwood as well

    I spent many hundreds of pounds on an ipod compatible Kenwood stereo for the car as I needed something to integrate my portable and car music. Once installed it turned out not to be compatible (despite licenced generic ipod/apple branding) with my (or any other) 4G ipod, only the 5G. I thought about buying the 5G but it had just been discontinued and Kenwood couldn't confirm if it would work with Apple's 5G's replacment the "Classic". The Kenwood has a USB port, but it's useless for anything other than a very small flash drive... Utter joke (both Apple and Kenwood).

    Tux, 'cos the Kenwood's supposed to run Linux, even though there appears to be no way to SSH in ad give it decent USB support.

  43. ZM

    @Francis Vaughn

    How about the automatic attacks on a company which really isn't at fault for the products of companies which should have known better, all purely for the point of saying "blah blah blah, Apple sucks, blah blah blah"?


  44. Anonymous Coward

    @Not Apple's Fault?

    I don't care whose fault it is, but *no way* did that comment come from the real Webster Phreaky.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    RE: Steve

    ' "And in other late breaking news el Reg announces that a user has discovered that his old Nokia 3.5mm charger won't fit his new Nokia phone's 2mm socket."

    Yes, but at least Nokia included an adapter in the box that lets me plug my old 3.5mm charger in...

    One day I might remember where I put it.


    Yes, but after going down to 2mm jack I now have a micro USB Nokia charger on my 6500 classic. There was no adapter in that box.

    Note... I totally disagree with what Apple are doing here either.

  46. MacGuru
    Thumb Up

    Its been like this since the touch.. and a fix

    I've had a Kenwood IP500 installed for quite a while.. works great.. but it never charged my iPod touch... nor now my iPhone...

    its a pain, but things change..... old hardware working with new devices is never a perfect science

    This looks like the fix to me...

    Will have to wait and see in a couple of months.. if it works they could make a packet!

  47. Robert Hill

    Mine works fine...

    Bought my 3d party FM transmitter for my 3G iPhone because it had a car charger and the local O2 store was all sold out of car chargers after the 3G launch - and for £7 more it gave me an FM transmitter.

    Wasn't labled to work with an iPhone of ANY sort, and the salesman wouldn't vouch for it, but listed every other iPod or I shelled out the £25 for it.

    Works like a charm, and charges my iPhone perfectly whilst it plays. Guess SOMEONE read the notice Apple sent out!

    Would give the name, but of course it's out in the bloody car...

  48. Matthew Hall
    Thumb Down


    Ok, I have an 16Gb iPod Touch - which works fine in my _Apple_ HiFi.

    Am I now being told the 3G version of the iPhone (which i've waited patiently for since the release of the 'first gen' release) will not support charging in either the Apple HiFi, or my 'RoadTrip' car dock?

    Say it ain't so? This sort of thing would make me want to wait for the next h/w release - albeit hopefully backwards compatible. What the 'f' do Apple have to gain from this? (Again, what do they have to gain from tie-in with a single UK 3g distributor also?).

  49. cris

    top queer?

    The top gear "cockometer" is now in force for Iffyone users.

    Sorry so many cocks have this phone it's now in the "seriously uncool" category.

    As JC* said, show your phone to Kristin Scott Thomas, would she think you are cool.

    You just spent £400 making yourself an uncool cock.

    Mines the one without the cock on the back


  50. Neoc

    And in other news...

    Apple announces a new religion dubbed iBelieve.

  51. Adrian Esdaile
    Jobs Horns

    The fix for this is SOOOOO easy!

    Just pay more money to Apple and re-buy all your accessories!

    I mean, you pay for totally new shirt/pants/glasses/shoes/manbags/blingy watches/expensive haircuts/aftershave/hybrid cars every single time fashion changes, or whenever The Almighty Steve changes his, so why should your Precious have to languish in LAST SEASON'S iAccessories? Tres gauche!

    If you aren't wealthy enough to afford new iAccessories, you don't deserve Apple. Seriously, you don't even deserve to be able to vote.

    In fact, you're untermenschen! Homo sapiens malus are the superior species!

  52. Pete


    iDockConverter coming to an apple store near you for only $89.95!

  53. Scott

    Spew bile much?

    Wow, there's a lot of bile spewing going on here. Let's look at it from Apple's point of view, shall we:

    1) we've got this nifty product that we want to improve with 3G capability, but this takes up extra space on the PCB. Therefore, we either need to increase the size of the phone (undesirable) or eliminate a function from the original design.

    2) we've got 12 volt lines and circuitry to convert it down to a usable voltage. There are 5 volt lines that can be used instead to power the iPhone and charge it. We've also told accessory producers a couple of years ago that we were going to stop using the 12 volt lines and that they should stop relying on them to deliver power to ipods.

    Hmmm, what would you do in this case? I know that I would probably do exactly as Apple did -- Remove a feature that they warned would be obsolete to make room for a feature that is not.

  54. Robert Hill


    Considering the pricing model on the 3G iPhone, which is basically FREE for the 8G model with any kind of plan that anyone with a job would want, or £69 for the 16G model, your £400 quote is obviously, well, bad information. At best. As it is free, it is hardly a phone for people trying to prove their socio-economic status - but it might be a phone for those that simply want something that works well as a phone and is slim in pocket. And in terms of who owns it, well, let's repeat: "it's free", so it will get all types...kind of like complaining about the undesirables you meet on a 90p bus ride...

  55. Ascylto


    What's the fuss about?

    I have several Apple universal docks and all charge my iPhone 16GB 3g. I had to take a knife to the one which also charges the Bluetooth earpiece as the new curvy back on the iPhone wouldn't fit ... it does now! It's the first time I have felt the need for one of those hand-blender type DIY thingies* with 58,000,000 accessories which would have been better than the craft knife and less dangerous to my fingers.

    *It was a Dremel!

  56. Giles Jones Gold badge


    Apple are proprietary?

    Where are all these open source, open design and standards based mobile phones then?

    Even OpenMoko has closed parts (GSM firmware).

    Most things are proprietary on the market. So don't talk wet and say Apple are any different.

    Sony remove things from products too, USB ports, iSync, PS2 emulation etc....

  57. Simon

    But... how come then that....

    ... Apples Universal Dock (the one that works with all the other older devices, has a remote etc) works with the new iPhone 3G (as long as you get the little plastic inserts to make it sit snugly)?????

  58. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton

    PS It is not the only problem

    PS it is not the only problem with Ifoney 3G , the latest hot topic in the Cupertino Pirates Roasting Forum is a number of white case new phones complete with pictures of the very flawed external casings after less then one months work in the wild are now sporting numerous hairline fractures as well ! Undoubtedly the other hued Ifoney 3G's will be reporting similar faults shortly !

    This cracks me up of the form the silly users of generation one rubbish being bitten in the rump yet again , oh how sweet it is indeed !

    Talk about throwaway preplanned obsolete technology being sold to the one in ten thousand flash mob wankers twice in a row in under two years , the Pirates at Cupertino have truly excelled themselves at fleecing their fans yet again !

    Or as Ralph Muntz would say to these silly punters "Ha! Ha!" !

    Choices with buying Cupertino Pirate technology being bought for it looks superficially cool or good , just turned a mite fatal as a certain socialite would say !

  59. Peter Pringle


    Dammit I left my 3G iPhone charger and USB cable in the office and headed off on holiday taking the charger and cable which the robbers didn't want to take when they pinched my old 40 Gb iPod photo.

    After talking about how great Apple are by using standard connectors I found that my cunning plan had been foiled and I had no way of getting any juice into the phone.

    I decided to leave my fruity goodness at home and redirected my calls to my Blackberry Curve which at least has a standard mini USB power connector (nice one RIM). It's just a shame that phones don't offer an option to redirect text messages as well.

  60. Rob McDougall

    hate to buck the trend...

    ...but I had the third-gen iPod which came with a dock and lots of bits and pieces. When it finally died, I got the new iPod "Classic", and it fits just fine in the old dock... just thought I'd say :)

  61. Oink

    Handy reference for iPhone 3G Apps

    I was looking for a car charger for my new 3G iphone and found these sites useful:

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