It is no secret that Apple enjoys quite a nice profit margin on its own accessories, cables and adapters for iOS devices. The new 80 percent smaller Lightning interface found on the iPhone 5fifth-gen iPod touch and seventh-gen iPod nano is no exception.

If you have a bunch of legacy accessories sitting around, chances are you will need Apple’s Lightning to 30-pin adapter, available in $29 direct-plug and $39 cable flavors. But if you’re shopping on a tight budget or Apple’s decision not to include a free adapter with the iPhone 5 has been ticking you off, do check out some nice unofficial, much cheaper alternatives that have cropped up on Amazon…

Third-party Lightning adapters typically fetch between ten and eighteen bucks, at least half Apple’s asking price.

Vendors Nanotch and iTronz already have their unofficial adapters for sale on Amazon, the former fetching just ten bucks (for a cool $20 saving versus Apple) and the latter priced at $17.95. Both are shipping by the end of September (Apple’s arrives in October) and are available on eBay as well.

The Nanotch accessory lists the following features:

• 100 % short and resistance tested
• specifically designed for iPhone 5 and iPod touch
• 30 pin to 8 pin adapter

And this is how it looks.

The other one from iTronz is spec’d as follows:

• Lightning cable adapter for newest generation of Apple products
• adapter to use your new Apple products with older accessories
• use your iPhone 5 with older models of accessories
• 20cm cord
• small adapter for easy connection

Here it is.

We’re not sure what to make of this.

Until we get our hands on the adapters and test them with Lightning-equipped iOS devices, there’s no way of telling whether these are safe to use.

iLounge reported earlier this month that Cupertino would be the sole manufacturer of the Lightning to 30-pin adapters, reportedly selling them starting at just ten bucks a pop.

Either that report wasn’t true or Nanotch and iTronz adapters are cheap knockoffs, in which case Apple could easily take them down at a moment’s notice.

Oh, and Jawbone proclaimed the old dock dead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hj1iO78d6AM

By the way, if you’re building an adapter of your own, Apple has conveniently posted the full iPhone 5 schematics.

I wonder how long before a knockoff Lightning to HDMI and VGA cables arrive…