Lightning Cables FAQ

Technology changes so fast that sometimes it’s not easy to keep up with the latest products on the market. When Apple switched their standard cables from the 30-pin dock to their new Lightning cables, it left a lot of people confused. How will this affect your phone or tablet? Will you need to purchase all new plugs and cell phone accessories? Is your phone suddenly obsolete? If you’ve got questions about Lightning cables, we’ve got all the answers covered here.

What are Lightning cables used for?

As of September 2012, Lightning cables are the standard connective for linking iPhones, iPads and iPods with chargers, host computers, screens and other peripherals. They’ve completely replaced the old 30-pin dock. Today, iPhone chargers generally come equipped with cell phone cables and a 5-watt charger. There is a better option though. With a 12-watt charger, you can power up your phone in half the time. With 12 watts, the iPhone 6 will take an average of one hour and fifty minutes to charge the battery, while an iPhone 6 Plus takes two-and-a-half hours.

Are Lightning cables backwards-compatible with my old device?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. You can still use a Lightning cable with an older Apple product that used the 30-pin dock, but you’ll need to purchase an adapter to connect the two. Since the average lifespan of a smartphone is only two years, though, you’ll likely need a device upgrade sooner than later anyway. Adapters are also available for other connectors like USB cables and other peripherals.

How much do Lightning cables cost?

Purchasing cables through Apple directly can cost you anywhere from $19 to $29. However, you can buy cables in bulk from wholesale retailers for a fraction of that price. That way you can keep your devices charged no matter where you go: at home, at the office, in your car or while you travel.

Ultimately, the switch in hardware from the 30-pin dock to the Lightning connector’s simplified 8-pin dock was a smart move. The new cables are now standardized across devices from the iPhone to the iPad Air and everything in between. Stock up on Lightning cables for all of your devices and accessories so you’ll never be left without a charge again.

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