This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Wait a Little While to Get Apple $29 Lightning Fix For Less

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- One of the more contentious aspects of the new iPhone 5 is that it will use a new type of connector, Lightning, for plugging the phone into your wall socket or computer. While Apple has touted the advantages of this smaller, reversible plug, many have griped that this makes the phone incompatible with the numerous docks and accessories put out by third parties over the years.

The good news is that Apple is selling an adapter to make it possible to plug your new phone into your old speaker dock; the bad news is that it won't come cheap.

The Lightning-to-30-pin adapter, as Apple is calling it, will sell for $29 from the Apple Store. This doesn't come as a complete shock. Apple has long been notorious for its high-priced accessories -- a simply power adapter that allows you to plug your USB iPod or iPhone jack into a wall socket will set you back $19, for instance.

Frugal Apple fans have also long-known that third parties are just as capable of making cords and power adapters, which they'll sell at a much lower cost. The old 30-pin connector, for instance, which still sells for $19 at the Apple Store, can be found for just $2.95 on a third-party site.

The obvious question, then, is when we can expect to start seeing similarly cheap knockoffs of this new adapter. After all, you shouldn't have to pay an extra $29 just to plug your new iPhone into your old speaker dock, right?

Amazingly, some third parties are already offering adapters that they say will do the same job at a fraction of the cost. CNET points to this adapter sold by Nanotch for $18 on Amazon, as well as another for $9.99 from a company called iTronz.

Meanwhile, other accessory retailers and manufacturers seem to be gearing up to sell similar offerings: a spokesperson for accessory maker Monoprice says that it "has been made aware by manufacturers in Asia that iPhone 5 Lightning-to-30-pin adapters are available at a component level," and that it will be working with suppliers to get them on sale by the end of October.

Of course, the big question is whether you can trust these imitation adapters, especially those being released before the technical specifications of the real deal are known. While the general assumption is that the $29 price tag represents Apple's usual accessory markup, at least one news outlet says that the adapter uses costly digital-to-analog converter technology that would account for its high price. If that's truly the case, then it's quite possible that these early imitation adapters don't actually have the technological innards needed to get the job done, and that you're better off paying more for the real thing.

Our advice? Wait until the genuine article has been on the market long enough for third-party manufacturers to take it apart and make a proper imitation. And if it's still cheaper after that, then make sure you only buy from trusted retailers with a good return policy.

More on the iPhone 5:

iPhone 5: What's New

How to get the iPhone 5 if you're still under contract

Can iPhone 5 save Best Buy?

--By Matt Brownell

Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $95.47 2.00%
FB $117.83 -0.62%
GOOG $690.33 -1.10%
TSLA $232.44 -3.90%
YHOO $35.90 -1.70%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,628.94 -121.97 -0.69%
S&P 500 2,063.37 -18.06 -0.87%
NASDAQ 4,763.2240 -54.37 -1.13%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs