Lightning to USB Cables Scarce as iPhone 5 Release Nears

The iPhone 5 uses a new dock connector that is thinner, smaller and hard to find.

The new Lightning connection on the iPhone 5 replaces the bulky 30-pin dock, so users will need a new cable to sync and charge the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5 ships with one Lightning to USB cable, but users looking for a spare cable to keep in their car or at the office are out of luck. The situation is even worse considering it will be harder to borrow a friend’s charger or borrow one from a hotel, at least for the first few months.

Lightning Connector box

The Lightning to USB cable is tough to find.

The Lightning to USB cable direct from Apple doesn’t ship for 2-3 weeks, and the prospect of finding one somewhere else isn’t looking good.

Apple Stores will likely sell some Lightning to USB cables on launch day, but there are no promises the cable will be in stock.

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Read: Lightning vs. 30-Pin Dock Connector Photos

Best Buy and Target list a Lightning to USB cable online, but show it as out of stock online and in store. Hopefully the stores will offer some Lightning to USB cables for sale on Friday. AT&T and Verizon don’t show any cables for sale online, but may offer some in store.

One Amazon seller offers a third-party Lightning to USB cable for sale, but promises no delivery until October. There are Lightning to USB cables on eBay, but many descriptions state the cables won’t ship until October. Several sellers are charging $50 to $60 for one of the Lightning to USB cables that Apple charges $20 for.

There is a lack of any third-party Lightning to USB cables from Kensington, Belkin, Joy Factory and even Best Buy’s house brand RocketFish is absent. We’ve reached out to several third-part cable companies to find out if and when they will sell an iPhone 5 Lightning to USB cable.

Shoppers that find a store selling the Lightning to USB cable should be sure to pick up a spare while the cable is in stock as it looks like demand will outpace supply for at least a month.

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The Lightning to 30-pin Adapters are of no help in this case because they don’t arrive until October either.

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