Unofficial Lightning USB Cables and Adapters Launching Soon at Significant Discounts

Earlier this month, we pointed to a new iPhone 5 Flash Lightning Dock from iPhone5mod.com, one of the first unauthorized Lightning-equipped products to surface on the market. At the time, iPhone5mod told us that it was using genuine Lightning connectors sourced from Apple's supplier, but noted that it also had cracked versions that were working properly.

The company is now pressing forward with its efforts to release accessories based on these unofficial Lightning connectors to the public, introducing a new Lightning to USB cable.

iphone5mod cracked lightning cable
iPhone5mod's cable is priced at $9.90, nearly 50% less than the official $19 cable from Apple. Shipping for iPhone5mod's cable starts at $4 per item to the United States.


iPhone5mod tells us that orders will begin shipping on November 3.

The company has also introduced its own version of Apple's cabled Lightning to 30-pin Adapter. iPhone5mod's version is priced at $19.90 plus $4 shipping to the U.S., compared to Apple's $39 price tag.

Finally, iPhone5mod is launching what it calls a Lightning 3-in-1 Starter Kit Set, bundling a USB cable, 30-pin adapter, and a Lightning dock for $39.90 plus $7 shipping to the U.S.

Both items are currently being quoted 10-14 days processing time plus international shipment, which can take a fair amount of time at the cheapest rates.

lightning starter kit
iPhone5mod's Lightning 3-in-1 Starter Kit

A chip-level teardown of Apple's official Lightning cable has revealed that while the connector does require several chips to handle the dynamic assignment of the eight contact pins, it does not appear to contain any true authentication features to prevent unauthorized connections from being made. At best, a Texas Instruments chip found in the connector provides only basic security in the form of a cyclic redundancy check (CRC) to ensure data integrity.

Apple is reportedly keeping tight control over official Lightning connectors, and has yet to officially certify any third-party accessory company to manufacture Lightning products. Apple will be holding a conference with members of its MFi Program early next month to provide details on Lightning integration.

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Top Rated Comments

alent1234 Avatar
152 months ago
$15 for a fake vs $20 for the real thing?

i'll take the real thing and not risk breaking my phone

maybe if it was $3 including shipping and a guarantee to work
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tkhan456 Avatar
152 months ago
Good. Apple deserves to lose business to a cheaper alternative for trying to unnecessarily make the lightening connector proprietary and on top of that not even provide any good accessories almost a month from the launch of lightening.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Agent OrangeZ Avatar
152 months ago
The apple able is not a 10 cent cable. THere is considerable amount of electronics inside the end shells. In the 30 pin version there is an entire audio interface inside with A/D converters. Basically there is a tiny computer inside the cable.

Next we can ask if this is a smart design or not. Bt it is not a simple cable.

Ok... so why is a $1 cable $20?
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
everything-i Avatar
152 months ago
So you risk a £400 device for a saving of £10 on a cable. These cables look pretty low quality junk, you hardly save anything by using them, and risk damaging your expensive device. Think I'll pass on this one.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
growlf Avatar
152 months ago
Since when have we started paying $30 for cables?

Not old enough to remember SCSI drives, eh? A SCSI cable and a terminator would set you back more than this. WAAY more.

I see this connector and its associated technology as an acceptable transition to a future-proof(ish) design. What did you guys want? Mini/Micro USB? And what? an HDMI port on top of that? and an SD slot? and a VGA port... and...

The old giant connector limited their hardware designs and was cumbersome to work with. The new connector is small, elegant, and effectively transmogrifies to be whatever they need it to be; possibly adapting to connection standards that aren't even out in the wild yet.

Yeah, it sucks that if you want to buy the new devices, you need to move to the new connector. If that's having such an impact on your life that it is a major concern, I'm sorry.

My $.02.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FSMBP Avatar
152 months ago
I have never bought an Apple made accessory yet. I like most of their products, but man they gouge you on accessories.

Since when have we started paying $30 for cables?

Their HDMI adapter for Lightning is $50 (up $10 from the 30 pin version). It's 25% the cost of buying an iPhone on contract.

I understand Apple is a business but this truly is disgusting.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)