If you're like me, you have a drawer full of USB cables and, if you can't find one, you can always buy another on any street corner. When you upgrade from an old phones to a new one, you can still use the same old wires and charging plugs, because micro USB is a standard. In fact, the European Union requires phone manufacturers to use micro USB for charging, because it reduces waste as users hold on to their old cables rather than tossing them in a landfill.
Unfortunately, the iPhone 5 uses a proprietary connector it calls "lightning" instead of standard micro USB, but gets around the EU regulation by offering an adapter.Why not just use micro USB like every other company? Then you couldn't make a mint selling proprietary wires and making every iPhone 4S owner that upgrades buy new accessories, because older iPhones had an even larger proprietary dock connector.