Apple is offering European customers an adapter to allow micro-USB cables talk to the new Lighting interface, but those outside of Europe are so far out of luck.
Available in Apple's online store in the UK and other European countries, the new Lightning to micro-USB adapter will allow people to charge and sync their new iPhone 5, iPod Touch or iPod Nano.
Unveiled at the iPhone 5 event yesterday, Apple's new Lightning dock connector is much smaller and narrower than the standard 30-pin connector. It can also be plugged in either orientation. And Apple claims that it's more durable than the older dock connector.
Folks with a healthy supply of 30-pin connectors lying around can buy the AU$35 Lightning to 30-pin adapters. But Apple has cautioned that not all 30-pin devices will work with the new adapter. So buyers of a new iPhone, iPod Touch or Nano may need to purchase even more accessories to be able to use their existing devices.
The Lightning to micro-USB adapter offers a handy alternative for people who already have a stock of micro-USB cables, thereby eliminating the need to shell out money for additional accessories. The adapter will sell for £15 (AU$23) and ship within three days.
But why only in Europe?
In 2010, the European Commission picked micro USB as the official standard, requiring that all smartphones available in Europe be compatible with the interface. Apple was able to get the OK for its 30-pin dock connector by offering a micro-USB adapter.
And what about those of us outside Europe?
People can always buy directly from one of the European stores, but that can be pricey with the value-added tax included. Instead, it's likely only a matter of time before the new adapters start popping up on eBay.