You Can Finally Charge Your iPhone 5 With Normal USB Cables

The new iPhone (and new iPad) cable connector has been about as controversial as a gadget cable connector can get. It's smaller, which is nice, but it's also expensive and incompatible with everything. That's why I love this little adaptor.

The European Union already forces Apple to sell this adaptor, which will turn any microUSB cable into an iPhone and iPad compatible Lightning connector, because the EU realises how dumb it is for every smartphone not to use the same cable to charge and sync. Elsewhere, Apple is free to stick proprietary everything and everything, but now it's selling the adaptor here too.

There are some complaints. It's $25 in Australia — the exact same price as a new, separate Lightning cable, which is annoying. But if you (or your friends, local bars, parents' house) are teeming with old USB cables for pretty much every other gadget under the sun, this tiny chip will make 'em all work with your new Apple gear. [Apple via MacRumors]


Comments

    Let me know when I can get this for $0.99 from Deal extreme or Meritline.

    So there's no chance that Apple don't use micro USB because it sucks compared to the lightning plug?

      Seeing as microUSB doesn't suck, I can't see how that would be a reason for Apple not to use it. Samsung has already demonstrated the use of MHL through microUSB for media functions - Apple could have gone with this and still sold first-party cables that support MHL functions at a premium. They didn't.

        I'm referring more to the plug itself, which most people that have used both would agree the lightning connector is much more user friendly.

          Exactly, USB always seems to be the wrong way up when I plug it in, and the assymterical shape requires a bit of a jiggle to make it fit when it's right way round. Poor ergonomics in micro-usb.

            Sure it's not just poor hand- eye coordination?

              Can you plug it in in the dark in under two seconds?

              I wouldn't say that micro USB suck, they work fine, the lightning cable is literally a redesign of a product (for arguments sake we will say a micro USB when it's really the old connector) that you didn't realise needed redesigning.

                not only that, i can plug my usb plugs into the rear of my computer without looking in 2 second...
                only reason why apple has their lightning plug is so they can sell more accessories and licenses for the plug.

                  Yes, a plug that can be plugged in either way is no better than one can be plugged in both ways. Even if it has 9 available pins compared to 5.

                  The only reason we have Micro-USB is because everyone (but God.. I mean Apple) wanted to sell more accessories and licenses as it got to the point where people no longer required Mini-USB cables. Nothing to do with size.

          I would say that depends on what you mean by "user friendly". I agree that the Lightning plug is easier to plug in than microUSB, no argument there. But there are other factors at play which I think outweigh that advantage and mean that microUSB is more user friendly:
          - cost. microUSB cables are just a simple digital cable and cheap as chips.
          - availability. EVERYONE except Apple uses microUSB. I leave my gadget wall-warts and chargers in the box because I already have all the charging/sync cables I need.
          - capability. microUSB (with MHL) is no less capable, no less speedy and no less durable than lightning.

          Basically IMHO Apple could have retained their premium image (and margins) with MHL-capable cables and docks for media, and at the same time joined the rest of the world in adopting a ubiquitous standard for everyday charging and syncing activities. They didn't, and the ONLY advantage Lightning has is that you can plug it in easier.

        Le micro USB soes duck. I mean does suck. I mean, it's frigging terrible.

      Of course, because micro USB doesn't have +10 fanboy points and a good dose of douchery.

        It's not fanboyism to appreciate when something is better than something else, I don't even have a device with a lightning connector and use products from a lot of different vendors, in fact my next phone will most likely be a nexus 4, so maybe for one people can leave the redundant fanboy argument for facebook posts.

          Sure, because something is better just because it's faster or prettier. If that were true, there would be a lot more products succeeding in the market.
          What Apple fail to realize (or have long forgotten) is that ease of use is priority for most people. Now tell me, what is easier to use, a standard usb cable that most devices use that can be bought even from some supermarkets for a few bucks, or a proprietry cord that costs a wad?

          Apple are only thinking of thr money to be had now, they don't give a shit about their customers and anyone who can't see through that has blinkers on and earns themselves the label of 'fanboy'.

    Where is the outrage at the Microsoft Surface RT using a proprietary charging cable?

    I personally don't get the fuss. There's a cable in the box.

      You make a good point, but my main complaint is that I can no longer use my spare charger at work etc. I know I have to suck it up and buy a new cable, just wish I didn't have to pay $25 for it.

      How would you feel if you had to buy a different adaptor for every electrical appliance you owned because each company decided to design for some proprietary power point. Its bad enough now carrying adaptors when travelling overseas. Now I need adaptors for home bought products as well. And if MS is using a proprietary cable then shame on them as well.

      The practice is called third-line forcing where, to use one service or product, you are restricted in some "unnecessary" manner"

        It would be third-line forcing if they required you to pay extra for some critical feature. There is a charger in the box.

        As for other appliances. The 4th Gen iPad, iPad Mini and an iPhone 5 all come with the same charger.

        When people got their first Apple portable device they only got one 30-pin cable, and accumulated them over time. The same thing will happen with Lightning.

        And for the most part appliances do have a different charging cable. If you buy a Samsung laptop and a Samsung Galaxy S III then they have different chargers. My cordless phone and modem have different power adapters.

        You would never need to buy an adapter for every appliance because every appliance comes with a power cable in the box.

        If Apple have decided that Lightning is better than MicroUSB then I think that is their right. They just need to make adapters available where they legally have to (they do), and provide at least 1 cable in the box.

          "If you buy a Samsung laptop and a Samsung Galaxy S III then they have different chargers."

          Ahahahah. Way to misrepresent.

          I am suprised by the surface but. M$ should know better.

          ummm... what apple computer has the same charger plug as an iphone?
          7 months after the ipad was released, they release a different one with a new plug...

            No laptop has the same charger as a phone. That's the point. Different devices having different cable requirements isn't uncommon.

            Does the 4th Generation iPad prevent the charging cable that came with the 3rd Generation from working?

            Every Apple device can be charged with the cable that came with that device. Same for every manufacturer. I just personally don't think they have an obligation to make sure any cable other than the one included works. (Apple are actually licensing the Lightning technology to companies like Belkin http://www.belkin.com/lightning )

        Arvo - third line forcing is where you are forced to take a product or service from a 3rd party as a condition of your supplier dealing with you, this isn't third line forcing as their is no third party, just the customer and Apple. Hope you're not studying economics or law :-)

        There are different adaptors for different appliances. Iec, figure8, clover leaf, not to mention the literally hundreds of pin style plugs. You still get an Aust outlet compatible plug same with apple.
        My Sony tablet has a proprietary plug same with a lot of albeit older phones.

        When traveling overseas I bring 1 adaptor & an Oz 4-way powerboard

      Less people care about the Surface for a starter!

    I think the only people complaining about the Lightning cable (apart from the cost of it) are people who haven't used it. It's so much better than micro USB.

      It is quite fast compaired to the old cable. Also, it is nice not having to wory about the directionality while using it at night.

        I just wish USB'S went into my PC either way. You have like a 50/50 change of getting it in right the first time, why does it take me 10 goes?!?!?!

          Haha, so true. Even worse with the retractable USB drives where 50/50 chance of upside-down and 50/50 chance of unwanted-retraction. I don't like those odds.

          Every USB cable I've owned has a symbol on one side of the plug (usually that "USB" symbol), with the other side being blank so you can orient the cable correctly without guessing. How on earth can it take you 10 goes to insert the cable??

            Have you seen the new devices and cables? On some the micro USB goes in straight, on others it has to be turned around, now if you were to go by the USB symbol, where should that be, on the top or the bottom? Have a closer look at some of the USB cables? The USB symbol is featured at the bottom end of the pin and on others it is entirely replaced with something else (like HP Touchpad cable has metallic discs instead of the USB symbol).

            The USB and the Mini USB pins are still fine, they kind of does not let you connect the cable the wrong way, with micro USB that is reduced and not only have I seen some people get these wrong but also damage them by using excessive force.

              I understand your point entirely - half a dozen of my own devices have a mix of "right-way" and "upside-down" orientations for their mini- and micro-USB sockets.

              That's why I said "orient correctly", because I expect a sane person to realise after two or three times which way a given cable has to be plugged in for each device. Some devices are "up", some are "down", but In all cases there are only two possible ways! :--]

    Anyone though might be able to read pen drives?

    Geez, can Apple stop being a greedy company? What next, sell in-app purchases for charge packs, charge your device 10 times for $0.99 or buy the larger pack of 100 charges for $7.99??

    This is a good idea but for $25?? If it is the same cost as a new cable, then what sense does it make to have this? According to the article above, you can use it at your friends/relatives that have old USB cables. If you have to carry this adapter, you can as well carry the USB cable at least it is bigger and the chance to misplace it are lesser.

      that is exactly what its about, GREED (and the sheep that buy their stuff)
      for the record, my iphone 4 is the most useless piece of technology available

      So I can carry this for my phone, and a micro usb for my kindle, and not have to worry about a second cable...

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now