Belkin Announces First Third-Party Apple Lightning Accessories
On Monday, Nov. 5, accessory maker Belkin announced that it will be the first third-party company to offer Lightning accessories for iDevices using the 8-pin Lighting connector.
The Lightning dock was first introduced in the sixth-generation iPhone 5 and it became a feature of the iPad mini, the seventh-generation iPod nano, fifth-generation iPod touch, and the fourth-generation Retina iPad.
Users with older 30-pin accessories need an adapter to convert from the old dock style to a Lightning connector. However, Apple launched a microUSB to Lightning adaptor initially in Europe and now in the U.S.
Apple-endorsed third-party accessories from Belkin have made its appearance now, which would potentially reduce the need for an adapter.
"Belkin was the first third-party manufacturer to develop accessories for the 30-pin connector back in 2003, and we are thrilled to be first to market again with solutions for the new Lightning connector," said Martin Avila, the GM of Belkin's core division. Avila further added "People are eager for Lightning accessories and Belkin's give them a reliable way to keep their new iPhone 5, iPad 4th generation, iPad mini or iPod touch charged, protected, and ready to go."
The first accessory is a hard-wired Car Charger for all of the current Apple Lightning-enabled devices. The accessory includes a 1.2m (4 feet) cable and produces 10 watts/2.1amps (with over-voltage protection). The Car Charger has a price tag of $29.99 and is available for pre-order with the expected shipping date of Nov.15.
The second accessory introduced by Belkin is a Charge Sync dock, which features a foldaway aux jack. The accessory features a channel to hold the existing Lightning cable, a removable magnetic base, and an audio-out port for headphones or speakers.
"With the foldaway AUX jack, you don't have to pause your music or video content to power up - simply dock your device with the AUX jack in the upright position and plug your EarPods into the Aux Port at the back of the dock," indicates Belkin's pre order Web site.
The Charge Sync dock is also priced at $29.99 and users can pre-order the accessory with the expected delivery date of Nov.15. Belkin's Web site indicates that the Charge Sync dock is compatible with the iPhone 5, iPod touch, and iPod nano.
Belkin has introduced just a couple of Lightning accessories. It is anybody's guess what other accessories are iFans hoping for in the near future.