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