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Apple to slowly roll out more Lightning cable options

Apple(s AAPL) is promising that the iPhone 5 will be the fastest rollout of an iPhone yet by hitting 100 countries by December. However, it looks like the new Lightning dock connector accessories aren’t on that same swift timetable.

Apple is forcing a migration to a new, smaller dock connector called Lightning with the latest model iPhone and iPods introduced this week. Besides standard Lightning-to-USB and Lightning-to-wall-plugs, Apple is also planning to sell other Lightning cables. However, not all of these were ready at launch.

Apple plans to sell Lightning-to-HDMI and Lightning-to-VGA cables for those who want to display video to another source with a wired solution. But when will these video-related cables be available? The company didn’t mention it at the launch this week, but Apple told The Verge on Thursday night rather vaguely that these will be available in “the coming months.”

Apple’s also selling converters for $30 or $40 that will keep a new iPhone or iPod compatible with older 30-pin cables and docks. However, the first round of inventory is already sold out. According to Apple’s website, just about 7 hours after it went on sale, three models of 30-pin adapters are backordered until sometime in October. Even the basic Lightning cable now won’t ship for two to three more weeks.

Luckily, if you’ve already bought an iPhone 5 or new iPod, one of the basic cables is included in the box.

9 Responses to “Apple to slowly roll out more Lightning cable options”

  1. Micro USB is a poor choice for HDMI, and it is not robust, mechanically. I have lots of experience with USB ports or connections becoming loose or poor fits, and power can be a problem, too. I”m sure Apple went through all kinds of design decision making to eliminate most of the standard limitations micro USB entails, including the myriad of cheep cable and accessory OEMs adding to a poor user experience. People keep thinking like this is just a phone, but the plethora of choices for connecting require versatility and reliability. They have been controlling their ecosystem from the beginning – why would anyone be surprised about evolving off of a 10 year old connector to another apple design?

    I’m sure it’s also not lost on Apple that it protects them from lost revenues in licensing the previous connector as well.

  2. RaptorOO7

    Apple forces users to get a proprietary cable that costs them about $3 to make and charges $19-39 to get. They could easily have gone to microUSB but of course they couldn’t put a strangle hold on the accessory market and force outrageous prices for them, plus their customary % paid to Apple.

    Combine the fact that Apple sold out of cables already along with the adapter which to me smells of limited stock to begin with to create a sense of urgency for consumers.

    Finally Apple will prevent any accessory company from offering a competing cable until January 2013 at the earliest, which has been reported previously. If this holds true, good luck finding a competitively priced cable that doesn’t fall apart in 3 months like Apple’s OEM cables do.