Apple’s Lightning to Micro USB Adapter hits US online store

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 2, 2012

Apple’s been an avid supported of USB for years. With USB 3.0, not so much – at least not until first Mac notebooks with USB 3.0 support began rolling out of assembly lines last year. The company, however, never adopted the industry-standard Micro USB connector. Instead, and much to the horror of the multi-billion dollar accessory biz, it chose to replace its own bulky, decade-old proprietary 30-pin dock connector with Lightning, another proprietary connector similar in size to micro USB (there’s a reasonable explanation for that).

So, if you fancy connecting your Lightning-enabled mobile devices to micro USB cables and chargers to sync and charge, Apple comes to the rescue with its official Lightning to Micro USB Adapter. Originally released in Europe in September due to regulations mandating that all mobile phones be charged via commonplace micro USB adapters, it’s now finally available to U.S. customers. How much? Just $20. I know, don’t start… Read More


Unofficial Lightning docks arrive

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 30, 2012

As Apple prepares to convene with accessory makers next month in order to lay out new rules pertaining to third-party Lightning gear, companies like iPhone5mod continue to exploit the supply-demand imbalance in order to produce unofficial accessories like cables and adapters that all use cracked Lightning chips.

iPhone5mod already has a few of these in its offering and they’ve just announced another accessory which could easily strike a chord with long-time Apple fans: a Lightning dock. Just like it removed the optical drive from the new iMac, Apple with the iPhone 5 stopped making docks for Lightning devices. Therefore, this opportunity has basically presented itself… Read More


Unofficial Lightning cables and adapters shipping November 3 for half the price

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 24, 2012

iPhone5Mod previously released an interesting iPhone 5 Flash Lightning Dock, its first unauthorized Lightning-equipped accessory, and recently announced a nice backplate replacement for your iPhone 5. Today, they’re launching three new Lightning accessories set to ship November 3. Of course, these unsanctioned cables and adapters lure with low prices that significantly undercut Apple’s comparable offerings (think a 50 percent discount or more). We’ve got more information and nice promo clips right past the fold… Read More


New Lightning HDMI and VGA adapters, 12W USB charger now on sale

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 24, 2012

Per rumors, Apple yesterday alongside the iPad mini, a revamped iMac, refreshed Mac mini and the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro also took the wraps off some new Lightning accessories that will be of note to people who want to show off their presentations, apps, games and more on devices that accept HDMI or VGA input.

Each adapter commands a steep $49 price and is available now from the online Apple Store, with shipping estimates already slipped to a 2-3 week backorder. Apple also put on sale a more powerful USB iPad charger that now provides twelve watts of power instead of ten, helping with faster charge times… Read More


Apple could release four new Lightning adapters today

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 23, 2012

According to a well-informed blog, in addition to the iPad mini and some new Macs, Apple today could also release a set of four new Lightning adapters and cables, two of which are aimed at providing compatibility with digital cameras via USB and SD cards, costing $29 each. The other two should provide a way to feed video from the device to external displays, projectors and other devices via the industry-standard VGA adapter or digital AV, priced at $49 each… Read More


More headache for Apple and MFi partners as multiple clones of Lightning design emerge

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 22, 2012

Apple has replaced its decade-old 30-pin connector with a brand new 9-pin Lightning plug in its latest round of iPhone and iPod refreshes last month. Per teardown, the new Lightning I/O has also brought with it an authentication chip that along with tightened ‘MFi’ terms is meant to prevent third parties from making unapproved accessories.

Adding insult to injury, it’s also been suggested that cracked chips which bypass its authentication functions are now available. Today, BGR posted images of several claimed third party authentication chips for Lightning USB cables.

Of course, the chips are not officially approved by Apple and present an ample opportunity for shady Chinese firms to manufacture Lightning cables, adapters and other accessories that should easily work with Lightning-equipped iOS devices while costing far less than Apple’s overpriced alternatives…. Read More


Apple to convene Lightning developer pow-wow in November

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 17, 2012

Apple is expected in early November to lay down the law to its developers on producing Lightning connectors. Among the Apple edicts: Lightning pins will be strictly controlled by the iPhone maker, which will provide them to “approved [developers] with production quantities of the pin once their product is determined to have met its standards and specifications,” according to TechCrunch.

As for potential knock-offs, the blog cites a source who warns lawsuits and import confiscations could be in their future. Without providing details, the source described as being “close to the program,” suggests the Cupertino, Calif. company will provide “additional security against low-quality copies” of the new iDevice connector… Read More


Chipworks takes a closer look at Apple’s Lightning cable

By Cody Lee on Oct 16, 2012

There’s been a lot of talk about Apple’s new dock connector lately. The company replaced its decade-old 30-pin connector with a new 9-pin Lightning plug in its latest round of iPhone and iPod refreshes last month.

Apple has reportedly added an authentication chip to its new cable to keep third party companies from making unapproved accessories. So the smart folks over at Chipworks decided to take a closer look at it… Read More


ChangeWave: Mapgate and Lightning woes did not affect massive iPhone 5 buying

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 12, 2012

According to a new study by ChangeWave Research, a 451 Research company, “massive iPhone 5 buying” continues despite a string of at times sensationalist reporting of various teething problems with the handset, ranging from the unwarranted cellular data usage and light leakage issues to the purple haze and virtual keyboard flickering woes.

More interesting than that, the study found that so-called Mapgate and incompatibilities with 30-pin accessories brought upon users by Apple’s new miniature Lightning connector literally had zero effect on iPhone 5 sales… Read More


Joy of Tech on Apple’s Lightning to 30-pin adapters

By Cody Lee on Oct 11, 2012

Apple upset thousands of users last month when it introduced a new charging port for its mobile devices. It replaced the decade-old 30-pin dock connector with a new Lightning plug, rendering millions of cables and old accessories virtually useless.

Of course, Apple offers adapters that will allow users to connect their new iPhones and iPod touches to older accessories. But, at a minimum of $30 bucks a pop, this hasn’t exactly won over the angry. In fact, for some this may have been the last straw… Read More


Apple’s Lightning authentication already cracked?

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 9, 2012

Apple’s new Lightning connector, currently utilized on the iPhone 5 and the new iPod touch and iPod nano, features an authentication chip, also found inside the Lightning cable. The chip, along with tightened ‘MFi’ terms, exists to ensure that only Apple-authorized Lightning accessories (like the Lightning to 30-pin adapter) function with Lightning-equipped iOS devices.

Some folks suspect it also serves to prevent third-party alternatives offered by places like I guess Apple won’t be too pleased realizing that cracked chips which bypass its authentication functions are now reportedly available… Read More


Apple’s Lightning to 30-pin adapters now shipping

By Cody Lee on Oct 8, 2012

Good news today for folks who ordered, or were thinking about ordering, a Lightning to 30-pin adapter from Apple. Reports are coming in that the first round orders began shipping yesterday.

As you know, Apple debuted a new charging port in its new iPhone and iPod products last month. And until now, you couldn’t find an adapter that made old accessories work with the new port… Read More


Elevation Dock hacked to support new Lightning connector

By Cody Lee on Oct 3, 2012

Since the iPhone 5 launched two weeks ago with its new Lightning port, accessories have been extremely scarce. Lightning to USB cables alone have been hard to find, never mind docks and other add-ons.

Thus, we imagine we’ll be seeing a slew of do-it-yourself solutions pop up over the next few months. In fact, one has already surfaced involving an Elevation Dock, some hacking and a Lightning USB cable… Read More


Apple tightens terms for ‘Made for iPhone’ Lightning accessories

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 3, 2012

The tiny Lightning connector that debuted on the new iPhone, iPod touch and iPod nano allows Apple to exercise a much tighter control over the accessories ecosystem, it has been revealed. According to a new report out this morning, all vendors seeking to make products bearing the ‘Made for iPhone’ (MFi) trademark must be approved by Apple.

Additionally, club Cupertino is requiring vendors to manufacture their gear in Apple-approved facilities. Apple is currently educating them on the new terms so don’t expect first officially approved third-party Lightning accessories before late-October or November… Read More


Apple could have wireless Lightning adapter in the works

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 2, 2012

Apple’s new, miniaturized dock connector that debuted on the iPhone 5 under the Lightning moniker so far proved an annoyance as customers with legacy 30-pin dock accessories are required to purchase Apple’s pricey adapter. Worse, as Apple’s cable has an authentication chip, it has been concluded that third-party alternatives offered by places like won’t work.

But as a patent filing indicates, Apple is researching an interesting solution that could help ease Lightning woes with  a universal adapter for iOS devices which facilitates, as Apple wrote, “the transmission of wireless data to any accessory”Read More


Lightning Connector chip policies against third-party alternatives

By Ed Sutherland on Sep 21, 2012

Apple apparently has gone to great length and expense to ensure consumers purchase only its version of the Lightning connector. The connector, which debuted with the iPhone 5, includes a chip which serves to prevent third-party alternatives, according to a report.

The authentication chip is located between the cable’s V+ contact and power pin, according to Double Helix Cables, which took the new cable apart, sharing its results with AppleInsider. Because the chip appears only in Apple’s Lightening cable, third-party alternatives offered by places like won’t work, the company claims… Read More


The Lightning connector is really, really tiny

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 21, 2012

Until you get it in your hands, it’s hard to imagine just how tiny Apple’s new Lightning connector really is. You might be thinking it’s on USB Mini levels, but it’s even smaller than that.

The press shots usually show an up close photo of the Lightning connector, which is just enough to skew perceptions of its size. In this video inside, I compare the Lightning connector to a plethora of other connectors and items we’re all familiar with: USB, USB Micro, USB Mini, Thunderbolt, 30-pin connector, a penny, and more.

If you’re at all interested in Apple’s new connector, then you don’t want to miss this… Read More


SVP Phil Schiller says Apple has no plans for an iPhone 5 dock

By Cody Lee on Sep 19, 2012

Starting with the new iPhone, Apple will be replacing the decade-old 30-pin dock connectors in all of its future iOS devices. This means that, sans an adapter, all of your old dock accessories will become obsolete.

This includes Apple’s white 30-pin dock — a signature accessory that’s been around since the early iPod days. Most folks figured Apple would update it this fall with the new Lightning plug, but apparently that’s not the case… Read More


Bluetooth music dongle will keep your 30-pin dock relevant

By Cody Lee on Sep 17, 2012

Starting with the iPhone 5, Apple is going to be changing the dock connectors in all of its future iOS products. The new Lightning plug will be replacing the decade-old 30-pin connector.

Worried that all of your old speaker docks will become obsolete? Don’t be. You can either purchase a 30-pin to Lightning adapter, which Apple sells for $29, or you can grab the auris… Read More


Inexpensive third-party Lightning adapters surface on Amazon and eBay

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 17, 2012

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… Read More