Avionics News November 2012 - 44

APPLE’S LATEST SMARTPHONE
Continued from page 43

iPhone 5 owner to use older, existing accessories. But, that adapter exacts its own penalty in size, availability and even utility. For one thing, you can’t buy one, at least not from Apple, as of this fall. Apple’s online store lists its 30-pin-toLightning adapters and cables as available to ship in “two to three weeks.” Another problem is the adapter’s size: It may not allow use of an iPhone cradle or similar docking mechanism, depending on how the accessory is designed. Finally, even if your docks and cradles did support the new device with Apple’s to-be-shipped adapter, you couldn’t play video with it on your IFE equipment. The adapter only supports analog audio output and USB audio, plus syncing and charging. “Video output not supported,” states Apple’s website. ”Unless someone already has an aircraft system with the new Lightning adapter, which today I would seriously doubt anybody has that available yet, there’s not going to be video output,” David Dodson of Flight Display Systems said. THE CHALLENGE There’s no question the iPhone and its progeny have had a great impact on the consumer electronics market. The iDevice family also has influenced PED and IFE markets, and one branch of the family – the iPad – has become ubiquitous in the cockpit as an EFB, replacing pounds of paper. And, an increasing number of Federal Aviation Administration Class 2 and 3 EFB approvals specify the iPad as the interface to the aircraft’s systems. Some light sport aircraft use the tablet as an integral part of the instrument panel. So, when Apple changes some44
avionics news

thing, it can be a big deal for operators. They may be forced to change wiring and other interfaces to use the newly configured products. Certainly an IFE system designed to provide power to an iDevice while obtaining an audio or – especially – a video signal through the 30-pin connector will need to be reconfigured, if native support for the iPhone 5 is desired. It also can be a big deal for installers, who suddenly need to accommodate at least a second interface for the IFE/ EFB systems, but that’s not all. For all its dominance in the IFE and EFB markets, Apple also faces stiff competition. Other smartphone and tablet makers are shipping products at least rivaling the iPhone and iPad, with more coming every day. When it comes to IFE, all of these non-Apple devices have more or less agreed on the micro-USB and/ or micro-HDMI standards to connect their devices with playback systems, power sources and computers used for syncing. But, since non-Apple PEDs are all over the map on form factor and placement of their connectors, there’s no such thing as a universal dock or cradle to accommodate them. That’s one of the attractions of Apple’s iDevices when it comes to IFE and EFB applications: There’s a long-term standard. Well, there was anyway, until the iPhone 5 was released. Of course, it’s not all that simple. Even the micro-USB/HDMI standard has no guarantee of predominating among non-iDevices in a year or so. The market for smartphones and tablets can change with the release of a killer app, or a technological breakthrough. Sure, IFE makers and installers can come up with a range of mounting solutions, embodied in unsightly but near-universal cradles and docks, for instance, or install a cumbersome network of cabling and

“UNLESS SOMEONE ALREADY HAS AN AIRCRAFT SYSTEM WITH THE NEW LIGHTNING ADAPTER, WHICH TODAY I WOULD SERIOUSLY DOUBT ANYBODY HAS THAT AVAILABLE YET, THERE’S NOT GOING TO BE VIDEO OUTPUT.”
– David Dodson,
Flight Display Systems

adapters to accommodate all comers. “Everyone’s going to have to create new products,” Flight Display’s Dodson added. “That’s an opportunity, I suppose, to design and sell new stuff. It’s an unfortunate circumstance, but I think this new Lightning connector’s going to be around a while. I don’t think they’re going to change every year or so.” ELIMINATING OBSOLESCENCE But, that’s not a realistic solution for operators who expect their investments in IFE to be as useful and long lasting as the ones they have made in communications and navigation equipment. So, what are operators to do? And how can installers meet their needs? Actually, there are two technologies smartphones, tablets and even many laptop computers employ that can help at least prevent – but not
Continued on page 46

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november

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News November 2012

Point of Communication
AEA Now
International News and Regulatory Updates
Modernizing Electricals
Member Profile
House & Hangar Calls
Gliders, Sailplanes and Motor-Gliders
A Conversation With...
Apple's Latest Smartphone Creates Chaos, Opportunity
Before & After
Member Profile
Business Basics
Aviation Aces
Theory & Practice
Legal Ease
What's New
Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News November 2012 - Intro
Avionics News November 2012 - Cover1
Avionics News November 2012 - Cover2
Avionics News November 2012 - 1
Avionics News November 2012 - 2
Avionics News November 2012 - 3
Avionics News November 2012 - Point of Communication
Avionics News November 2012 - 5
Avionics News November 2012 - AEA Now
Avionics News November 2012 - 7
Avionics News November 2012 - 8
Avionics News November 2012 - 9
Avionics News November 2012 - 10
Avionics News November 2012 - 11
Avionics News November 2012 - 12
Avionics News November 2012 - 13
Avionics News November 2012 - 14
Avionics News November 2012 - 15
Avionics News November 2012 - International News and Regulatory Updates
Avionics News November 2012 - 17
Avionics News November 2012 - 18
Avionics News November 2012 - 19
Avionics News November 2012 - Modernizing Electricals
Avionics News November 2012 - 21
Avionics News November 2012 - 22
Avionics News November 2012 - 23
Avionics News November 2012 - Member Profile
Avionics News November 2012 - 25
Avionics News November 2012 - 26
Avionics News November 2012 - 27
Avionics News November 2012 - House & Hangar Calls
Avionics News November 2012 - 29
Avionics News November 2012 - 30
Avionics News November 2012 - 31
Avionics News November 2012 - 32
Avionics News November 2012 - 33
Avionics News November 2012 - Gliders, Sailplanes and Motor-Gliders
Avionics News November 2012 - 35
Avionics News November 2012 - 36
Avionics News November 2012 - 37
Avionics News November 2012 - 38
Avionics News November 2012 - 39
Avionics News November 2012 - A Conversation With...
Avionics News November 2012 - 41
Avionics News November 2012 - Apple's Latest Smartphone Creates Chaos, Opportunity
Avionics News November 2012 - 43
Avionics News November 2012 - 44
Avionics News November 2012 - 45
Avionics News November 2012 - 46
Avionics News November 2012 - Before & After
Avionics News November 2012 - Member Profile
Avionics News November 2012 - 49
Avionics News November 2012 - 50
Avionics News November 2012 - 51
Avionics News November 2012 - Business Basics
Avionics News November 2012 - 53
Avionics News November 2012 - 54
Avionics News November 2012 - 55
Avionics News November 2012 - Aviation Aces
Avionics News November 2012 - 57
Avionics News November 2012 - Theory & Practice
Avionics News November 2012 - 59
Avionics News November 2012 - 60
Avionics News November 2012 - 61
Avionics News November 2012 - Legal Ease
Avionics News November 2012 - 63
Avionics News November 2012 - 64
Avionics News November 2012 - 65
Avionics News November 2012 - What's New
Avionics News November 2012 - 67
Avionics News November 2012 - 68
Avionics News November 2012 - 69
Avionics News November 2012 - Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News November 2012 - 71
Avionics News November 2012 - 72
Avionics News November 2012 - Cover3
Avionics News November 2012 - Cover4
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