/ Technology

Apple’s £25 iPhone 5 dock adapter is a slap in the face

Everyone expected Apple to change the dock connections on its new iPhone 5 and iPods. Everyone expected it to charge for an inevitable adapter… but the price is beyond ridiculous.

So another iPhone launch has been and gone. I won’t get into the ins and outs of what’s new – read our iPhone 5 features explained post on our sister blog Which? Tech Daily for that. I just want to talk about one ‘feature’ – the new, smaller dock connector.

It makes perfect sense. The old connector, which had 30-pins, is ridiculously large by modern standards. The new one, dubbed ‘Lightning’, is 80% smaller and reversible so it doesn’t matter which way up you put it in. So far, so good.

But then I hear Apple wants £25 for an adapter, the ‘Lightning to 30-pin adapter’, to make it work with any existing iPhone or iPod accessories you might have. This has got to be a joke.

What did you expect?

The instant reaction I got on Twitter didn’t surprise me – ‘what did you expect, this is Apple?’ They’re right, of course, Apple has a long history of pricey accessories. But what really infuriates me about this one is that, if you own old accessories – particularly speaker docks, many of which run to hundreds of pounds – you have no choice.

I can decide to buy a case or dock. A video cable is a nice to have, not a must have. But this adapter? You have to buy it for any of your accessories to work with your new iPhone 5. Given this fact, can £25 be seen as anything more than just a cynical piece of profiteering?

No doubt cheap Chinese versions will surface sooner or later, soothing the irritation. But that does nothing to diminish Apple’s shame in its pricing decision.

[UPDATE: 14/09/2012 12pm] – As pointed out by one of our commenters, when you pre-order an iPhone 5 you will get a ‘free’ Lightning to 30-pin Adapter:

‘Your iPhone includes a Lightning to 30-pin Adapter for connecting 30-pin accessories to devices featuring the Lightning connector. Purchase this additional adapter to have a second adapter for your home or office.’

This is certainly good news, though whether £25 is too much for a replacement adapter is still up for debate.

[UPDATE: 14/09/2012 1pm] – Apple appears to have removed the offer of a free Lightning to 30-pin Adapter from iPhone 5 pre-orders on its website. Instead, you are asked to pay £25 to be sent one. We’ll keep you informed of any changes.

Is £25 too much for Apple's iPhone 5 dock adapter?

Yes - it should be cheaper to connect to old accessories (92%, 921 Votes)

If anything it could be more expensive (5%, 51 Votes)

No - £25 is about right for the new adapter (3%, 31 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,008

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It’s even more disappointing that Apple didn’t fall into line with other manufacturers and use micro-USB. Most modern phones now use micro-USB for charging, meaning that all chargers are the same. This means that eventually chargers will no longer be bundled with phones, as consumers will be able to keep the same charger indefinitely rather than needing a new charger with every new phone. Not only is this more environmentally friendly as it reduces wastage, but it’s also cheaper for phone manufacturers. Apple has gone the other way and put profit (the ability to rip off consumers on accessories) ahead of the more practical and environmentally friendly trend being followed by other manufacturers.


It is sensible to have a reversible connector, but I thought Apple had agreed to the proposed European micro-USB standard back in 2009.


Maybe they’re trying to force people to use its wi-fi feature AirPlay and buy an Apple TV…


Everyone complaining about the $30 price tag hasn’t been around long enough. Wait a week after launch date and there will be cheap $2.99 adapter available on Amazon and Ebay.


Andy had already made this point in his final paragraph.

Richie Neal says:
13 September 2012

Iphone 4s probably the last iPhone I will buy,it’s a shame as I like the phone but would rather have a phone that fits all the accessories I have than having to keep buying them and as far as cheep adapters goes they rarely last to long so you end up buying more of them

crankyoldguy says:
13 September 2012

Here’s a simple fix: don’t buy the new iphone 5. Is your iphone 4s suddenly rendered inoperable by the existence of an iphone 5? Why not keep it until it doesn’t work anymore?


I can wait on the iPhone5, but I’m going to upgrade eventually.

I think they should’ve given free adapters with the first shipment/group of iPhones as a peace offering.