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  • OK dock, could be cheaper, pass-through lightning

    posted by bilious on 11/28/2012
    4

    Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:1 day to 1 week

    Pros:

    The dock is cheaper than the standard pricing of Apple official docks, though Apple have said they will not produce a dock for the iPhone 5.

    The dock leapfrogs the issue of lightning 'authentication' by simply passing-through the pins. There's no need for authentication chips - everything is done by the cable.

    The quality of plastic and assembly is pretty good.

    The shape of the hole allows sound to echo up to the listener.

    Cons:

    The dock is very light. This means you need to hold it down when using it.

    The 'lightning' sized connector in the dock is a piece of printed circuit board in the right size and shape. However, the part is flexible, and it looks like the board may be subject to snapping in the future. I don't expect to own this for more than 6 months without it breaking. (In this respect, SKU 169363 looks a lot better but unsure if it contains authentication chip.)

    The 'opening' is much wider than the phone, and leaves quite a large gap at the back which forces the phone to lean backward with no support.

    The anti-slip pad on bottom is not particularly good.

    OtherThoughts:

    A good first try at manufacturing a compliant dock. However, its flaws require some fixing. I will be adding a shim between the phone and the back of the hole to reduce the flex strain on the connector.

    The pass -through solution is a good solution to the issue of the changes to the lightning cable specification.

    Bottomline:

    Probably buy SKU 169363 or wait until a version with a more substantial connector is produced.

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