After Apple's big announcement event yesterday there were so many specs and scraps of minutiae to comb through that its not surprising a few details slipped through.
When Apple announced it's new 8-pin Lightning connector for the iPhone 5, it quickly followed up by debuting the adapter that will enable Apple fans to keep using all the iPhone accessories they've collected that use the old 30-pin connector. It's $30, but that seems like a small price to pay to not have to buy an entirely new lineup of accessories. Too bad customers might have to buy new accessories anyway.
Today, CNN Money pointed out that Apple's product listing for their new Lightning to 30-pin adapters states that the product does not support video or iPod Out* formats. That means the adapter isn't likely to work with some existing iPod docks.
Some stereos with iPod docks that use the iPod Out format won't work correctly with the adapter. Certainly, entertainment systems will not be streaming video from iPhone 5s. Also, many adapters built into the sound systems of cars may no longer work with the adapter.
For Apple, the situation isn't much to sweat about. It will still sell millions of iPhone 5's, whether or not those customers are actually aware that their video accessories will not work with the phone. At that point, a second revenue stream will kick in, with customers either buying the expensive adapter, replacing their accessories with Lightning-compatible ones, or both.
For customers, on the other hand, this could be seen as a lesson in just how expensive proprietary formats can end up being in the long run.
*NOTE: The iPod Out format is not analogous to Audio Out