Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A complaint to Apple

I purchased a new iPhone 5 on the day the product was launched, and then waited patiently for the Lightning-to-30 pin dock connector adapter cables to become available. I own a 2008 Infiniti G35, which features iPod interoperability through an Apple 30-pin dock connector. I have used this connector successfully with every model of iPhone, as well as my 5th-Generation iPod. I ordered but didn't receive a lightning-to-30 pin dock adapter until 2 days ago, which is well beyond the 14-day refund period imposed on my iPhone purchase. My car audio system doesn't recognize that the new iPhone is connected when I use this new adapter cable between my iPhone 5 and my automobile's 30-pin dock connector.

If the adapter cables had been available on the same day as the new phones, I wouldn't have even gotten out of the parking lot of my local Apple store before I noticed the problem and I would've returned the phone. I think it's unfortunate that I wasn't able to even verify this important feature until well after the product return period for my phone had passed.

I have Apple Support case number 362497821 open to address this issue, and I've opened a complaint, number 362507803, to address this issue. I'm being told by product support that this is most likely a 'compatibility problem,' and I think this is a most unsatisfactory answer. I do not see this as being my problem, or a problem my automobile manufacturer needs to solve. Nissan followed the specifications published by Apple when designing the car audio system in my car. If Apple wishes to arbitrarily change the connector on their devices to a non-industry-standard connector, they should accomodate the legions of previously-satisfied Apple customers who often sought Apple interoperability as a condition of purchase. (I also imagine somebody on the product design team at Apple owns a car similar to mine. To me, it doesn't seem too unreasonable for somebody in that capacity to actually try the product in their own car before releasing it to production.)

I see two possible solutions to this issue that are well within Apple's ability to execute:
* Apple should manufacture a lightning-to-30 pin dock adapter cable that works with the iPod dock connector signalling protocol that Apple itself designed and my auto manufacturer implemented per Apple's specifications.
* Apple should offer a Bluetooth A2DP device that attaches to the now-legacy 30-pin dock connector in automobiles equipped with this feature. This way, new iPhone users could use their phone's Bluetooth A2DP functionality to connect their iPhone to their car audio system. I mention this option because my car doesn't have a bluetooth A2DP feature built in.

Like many other satisfied iPhone customers, I am enjoying my new phone. I would prefer that Apple provided (or, committed to provide,) a solution to this problem. Failing that, I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss other alternative means to resolve this issue.