Beware Of Cheap Third-Party Lightning Adapters And Cables For iPhone 5

Apple’s iPhone 5, 5th generation iPod touch and 7th generation iPod nano that were unveiled in September came with a new dock connector dubbed Lightning, which replaced the 30-pin dock connector that was first launched in 2003.

Apple also launched two adapters for the new Lightning connector, which will allows users to connect their iPhone 5, 5th generation iPod touch and 7th generation iPod nano to 30-pin accessories.

But Apple has come under a lot of fire for pricing the Lightning to 30-pin dock connector for $29 and Lightning to 30-pin dock connector (0.2m cable) for $39. It was widely speculated that Apple would hold the exclusive right to make and sell such adapters, denying third parties the required licenses, at least initially.

However, couple of weeks back we reported that cheaper third-party Lightning to 30-pin adapters for iPhone 5 were available for iPhone 5 on Amazon.

At that time, we advised you to hold off buying these third-party Lightning to dock connectors. Based on comments from cable experts at Double Helix Cables to CNNMoney, it may be advisable to buy Lightning cables and adapters directly from Apple for now.

The Double Helix Cables owner (who asked that his name not be used) told CNNMoney that the new chip sits in the path of the Lightning’s power wire — making the setup “much more complex” than that of the 30-pin connector.     

“Chinese manufacturers are currently working to clone this new connector — but they cannot do it with the same ease and low cost as before, I don’t think,” he said.     

[..] Most sellers advertising cut-price Lightning accessories use generic names, don’t have websites, and don’t make their contact information available. CNNMoney’s attempt to reach iTronz, a seller with Amazon listings, went unanswered.     

It will likely take months for counterfeit companies to develop working cables, the Double Helix owner believes.     

“Unlicensed knockoffs are going to happen eventually, but now there is even more of a reason to just use Apple’s cable — the circuitry is much more complex now and so there is a lot more to go wrong,” he said. 

According to Double Helix Cables owner, when the Lightning connector cable knockoffs eventually hit the market, they may not be as cheap as the 30-pin dock connector cables, which cost 30 cents at wholesale prices. He predicts that the Lightning connector cables will cost $3 to $8 at whole sale prices due to the more complex circuitry. We’ll also have to see if these unlicensed knockoffs are reliable.

Do you plan to wait for the knockoffs to be available Or will you buy them directly from Apple?

[via CNNMoney]


You can check out this post to find out more details how the Lightning connector and port work.

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  • Jeremy Taco Patterson

    If you can’t afford a $30 adapter (which I still have seen ZERO need for with my iPhone 5 and the INCLUDED cable) then maybe you shouldn’t be buying Apple products.

    They are world class, and nobody has EVER described them as “cheap”.

    You get what you pay for, as in most everything in life.

    • Boss class should be at higher price than wat it is supposed to cost?:) would you buy for $100 if apple changes the price….since world class:)…

      take it wasy friend

      • Jeremy Taco Patterson

        Nope, you took my comment out of context.

        Apple builds quality products, and they charge a premium price for them.

        If I couldn’t afford those prices, I would know not to buy Apple products.

    • Abel Goddard

      So, you carry that one cable with you everywhere? I need one at home, work, and car, and a spare at my sister’s house. One cable doesn’t even approach a real solution for me.

      • Jeremy Taco Patterson

        No, I don’t. I leave it at home, where I charge my phone every night. If I am going to need it during the day, it and and plug adapter fit very nicely in my pocket or the backpack I carry my MBP in.

        • Private

          Do you think everyone lives exactly the same way you do?

          • Jeremy Taco Patterson

            No, but I DO think everybody wears pants with pockets and can carry theirs with them as well.

            It’s not like you would even have to carry the plug adapter, as anybody with more than one iDevice has more than one plug adapter, so you would have to carry the cable itself, which weighs a matter of grams, in your pocket or a bag or keep it in your car.

            SUCH a hassle…

          • Abel Goddard

            Yes, carrying around a charging cable IS a hassle.

          • Kros

            This guy is defending the high markup on a few chips and metal by saying that its Apple’s metal so its better. Its a digital signal so the cable does not matter. By that logic you would believe that a $100 Monster HDMI cable is better than the $5 Monoprice one. My house and car payments depend on consumers like you LOL

          • Abel Goddard

            I’m confused. Are you saying _I_ am defending high priced parts/equipment? In no way do I do that.

          • stfutaco

            The company should accommodate to the customers’ needs, not the other way around.

            Well, unless you’re a tool, that is.

          • Jeremy Taco Patterson

            Awwwwww, so we’re name calling now. So intelligent…

      • Derek Sledge

        Ditto that.. Need at least 5 of those adapters!! fingers cross for the knockoffs!!

      • new

        I lost my cable today while carying it here and there….

    • kraken

      Don’t confuse greed with being “world class”. The purpose of a cable is to charge the device and transfer data. You could get the old cable at Dollar Tree, along with the industry standard micro-usb Android uses, and both of these cables work just fine for charging and transferring data, but don’t make Apple massive profits.

    • Jared Wangen

      It’s not a matter of affording or not affording. I use Apple products because of usability. I like them better than the alternatives. That said, my user experience does not change based on who makes my cable adapter. I don’t need to buy Apple Branded everything if the same product is made more cheaply by a 3rd party. Adapters fall nicely under this category. I have a 3rd party video out cable and it works fine. I paid $10 for it. Why do I need to spend $40 when $10 will do? What could possibly change in my user experience because of the brand of cable I bought?

      • Private

        My user experience with my iPhone 5 is currently quite bad, as it is running out of battery power and I’m not in the one place where my single charging cable is. I could afford to go buy another for $19, but it makes me angry at the company to be ripped off that badly for a $3 (and only that because of the anti-copying chip they put in it to lock us in) cable.

        My positive view of the Apple brand is rapidly declining. And this is from someone who owns a MBP Retina, an Apple TV, a Time Capusule and more.

        • Jeremy Taco Patterson

          I don’t get why you can’t wrap the cable up and put it in your pocket if you know you’re going to be away from it for a while and may need to recharge.

          I would assume you have several of the plug adapters, so you could leave them at various locations you are frequently needing to top off your battery and just carry the cable itself in your pocket/bag/car, etc.

          Plus, we all know there will be cheaper (but still decent quality) cables available soon. Once companies like Belkin get their hands on the proper chip to add to the adapter, they will be widely available for 1/2 the price.

      • Jeremy Taco Patterson

        That’s fine and dandy. Surely to God you understand that the market will have 3rd party offerings available soon, just like EVERY SINGLE THING EVER.

        But no, you can’t wait. You have to have it now. Well guess what. If you want it now, you have to pay.

  • Alan

    I buy the charger cables from Apple as I haven’t had a good experience with the third-party cables. But I haven’t been too impressed with the durability of Apple’s cables as well as the 30-pin connector side have been quite prone to wear and tear. Hoping that the Lightning connector cables will be more durable.

    Waiting for a Lightning to 30-pin adapter to be shipped.

  • Luis Ortiz

    Would it kill Apple to make a friggin’ cable in another color besides white? Please?

    • GiZZeRR

      What on earth does it matter what the colour of the cable is? Get a life

      • doobiebros


  • Abel Goddard

    I bought 2 adapters on ebay before the 5 had even started shipping. Have yet to receive them, though. We’ll see if they work…

    • wolverinemarky

      i bought 2 other cables too they ship next week i think

  • stfutaco

    taco. just STFU

    • Jeremy Taco Patterson

      Oh look, I have an internet “badA$$” hater.

      I post with my real name. Why are you afraid to do the same?

  • Leesa

    don’t use the 3rd party adaptors, they open you up to hackers. This next round, I will opt to purchase direct from Apple. I was sitting here watching my phone be hacked into while it was on an Amazon purchased docking station with an Amazon purchased adaptor. I watched my screen flip thru pages, my icloud attempt to be accessed and safari and paypal being launched. scary enough for me toss the ‘garbage’ in the trash where it belongs. Been testing the same features with direct connect apple cord to docking station and so far no hacks.