One of the most criticized aspects of the iPhone 5 and newest iPad was the fact that Apple eschewed the traditional 30-pin dock connector and decided to move to an even more locked-down Lightning connector. While all new devices come with one cable in order to set them up and charge them, many people use multiple cables: one for charging, one for syncing, and one for connecting the device to peripheral accessories.
Apple currently charges $20 for a Lightning cable. That’s quite a bit of money – and it’s probably almost pure profit for the Cupertino company. Up until this point, Apple’s certification chip had kept other manufacturers from replicating the cable and then selling it for less. However, cheaper cables have been popping up across the internet.
There are two retailers offering the cables.
The first is Monoprice.com, which has long sold cables and other peripherals for much less than first-party vendors. Monoprice has the Lightning cable for as low as $11.77, though be advised that the “ETA” for the product is listed as 3/21/2013. That’s just over a month to wait for a cheaper cable.
The other seller is considerably more vague, though feedback over the website is favorable. All4Cellular.com has the Lightning cable listed at $14.99 as a flash deal, and has the added advantage of being available today instead of in a month.
Either of these deals show that manufacturers are slowly ramping up capacity and are beginning to be able to produce the Lightning cable at a lower price, even with the added complexities.