Unofficial Lightning docks arrive

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…

Both the Classic Dock and the Dock PRO for the iPhone 5 serve the same purpose, with the latter (pictured at the top) being upgraded today with an additional mounting slot to prop your device in either portrait or landscape.

The PRO variant, pictured below, lets you use either a Lightning or a micro-USB cable to connect the dock to your computer and has a removable slot cover needed to dock the naked and cased iPhones.

Both docks are set to start shipping within the next few weeks. Note you’ll be charged $4 per item shipping. Also, each new order requires up to two weeks of processing before shipping.

The iPhone 5 Dock PRO is available in both Lightning and micro-USB versions.

MacRumors also points us to an improved version of iPhone5mod’s Lightning to USB cable, which comes in  standard and lighted flavors. The refreshed accessory offers increased durability and compatibility, but also raises questions about quality of their original Lightning to USB cable and possibly other accessories iPhone5mod sells as well.

Specifically, the improved cable offers a faster response time (think 1-2 seconds) when connecting a device and it resolves “connectivity issues that may occur in some computers” while providing higher compatibility, improved reliability.

The second-generation cable retails for $12.9, an increase over the previous-generation $9.9 price point. At least iPhone5mod will upgrade everyone whose order hasn’t hipped yet to the second-generation cable free of charge.

This is the Lightning to USB cable in standard variant.

This is the lighted version. If you’re into modding, this one looks just about right.

There’s a reason they call these unofficial accessories.

I generally avoid accessories that are not officially approved by Apple. If I wanted to be cheap and save a few bucks, I probably would go for unofficial cables and adapters instead of shelling out for Apple’s overpriced accessories.

But then again, having already paid so much money for my Apple gadget, the least I could do is buy a sanctioned accessory and not risk damaging my pricey new toy.

And for what? Just to save a few bucks?

That’s just my opinion, of course, and I bet yours differs.

What’s your position on unsanctioned accessories for iOS devices?