iPhone 3 and iPod HiFi
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
The iPhone 3G does not work with the iPod Hi-Fi. It plays music, but does not charge.
Are they going to somehow fix the issue or are we out of luck?
This product is too new for Apple to drop support.
Apple’s not acknowledging it and no sites even mention it.
Please help and get Apple to fix this.
A: Hi Privateshares,
We originally mentioned this issue in our coverage of the iPhone 3G, but you’re right, it’s not getting much attention elsewhere. Without telling buyers of iPods, iPhones, or accessories beforehand, Apple has been making subtle electrical changes to its hardware that create unexpected incompatibilities, effectively “breaking” the ability of past accessories to work with new Apple hardware. The problem you are experiencing is just the latest such change, but it is particularly unwelcome since it affects buyers of the iPod Hi-Fi and the Bose SoundDock, two expensive speaker systems that were pushed heavily in Apple Stores, as well as a number of other popular products.
Specifically, this change affects “FireWire charging,” and was discussed in our review of the iPhone 3G. FireWire was the original iPod electrical interface, which supplied a certain amount of power to the iPod’s battery, but has since been replaced by the lower-powered USB charging standard. For years, Apple allowed devices to send either the higher FireWire-level power or the lower USB-level power to most iPods or the iPhone, but with the iPhone 3G, Apple cut off the more powerful charging standard. It had previously warned developers that it would do this, initially discontinuing the iPod’s ability to synchronize using a computer’s FireWire port, and then telling developers that future devices would not use FireWire charging. However, it did not warn consumers of the change, and apparently kept on selling products—including iPod Hi-Fi—that used the old FireWire standard.
The simple answer to your question is that, absent spending some additional money, buyers of past accessories that use FireWire charging will be out of luck. They can choose to spend $40-45 for a third-party adapter such as this one, or purchase a different accessory that is compatible with the iPhone 3G. This sort of disappointing forced obsolescence unfortunately works against consumers’ interests but in Apple’s short-term favor, driving the sale of more accessories as replacements for otherwise functional and in many cases expensive past ones. An obvious solution, and one that we think users have been gravitating towards, is to stop buying expensive accessories because of the high risk that they will not work with future Apple products. It’s unfortunate that this is a concern, but it is.
We should also mention that after receiving your e-mail, we contacted Apple to ask whether an “official” solution was coming, as USA Today had been told by the company that charging adapters would be made available for some products. Apple did not respond to our request for comment; make of that what you will.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Tim Cook to host Hillary Clinton fundraiser
- Report: Apple to update Apple Store app with personalized recommendations
- Report: Apple now prioritizing autonomous driving system in car project
- WSJ: Apple’s ‘hard-charging’ approach unsuccessful in negotiations with TV networks
- Video purports to show official Lightning to 3.5mm headphone adapter
- New iPhone pre-orders to start Sept. 9?
- Apple has sold one billion iPhones
- Parkopedia to provide detailed parking information for Apple Maps [Updated]
- Microsoft releases Pix camera app for iPhone
- Adobe launches new Lightroom viewer for Apple TV
- Elgato Avea Flare Portable Mood Light
- Moe Bull Stand for iPad Air 2 + 9.7” iPad Pro
- Netatmo Tags for Welcome Smart Home Camera
- iDevices Socket HomeKit-enabled Light Adapter
- Koogeek Wi-Fi SmartPlug for Apple HomeKit
- Marbotic Smart Letters for iPad
- Ecoxgear Sol Jam Bluetooth Speaker
- Gumdrop Cases DropTech Case + Hand Strap for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Braven BRV-1M Bluetooth Speaker
- Braven BRV-Blade Bluetooth Speaker
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app