iPhone 5 orders shipping with free Lightning to 30-pin adapter [Updated: Maybe not]

iPhone 5 orders shipping with free Lightning to 30-pin adapter [Updated: Maybe not]

Recognising that many of its customers will own an existing iOS device and may want to use their existing 30-pin accessories with their new iPhone 5, Apple is bundling a free Lightning to 30-pin adapter with every new purchase.

Update: We have received reports that Apple has made a mistake on its website. According to official online sales representatives, Apple will NOT be including a free Lightning to 30-pin adaptor. Scroll down for updates.

Navigating through the iPhone 5 order process, Apple provides a list of services, support, accessories and printers. In the accessories section, Apple shows that it will provide a Lightning to 30-pin adapter for free, but will ask that you purchase its 0.2m adaptor, as well as its Lightning to Micro USB connector:

However, Apple does not list the connector in the ‘What’s In The Box’ section on the iPhone 5 preorder page:

The wording in the checkout section quite clearly states that Apple will include at least one free adaptor, going as far to suggest you buy an second one for use in “your home or office.” On the dedicated page for the Lightning to 30-pin adaptor, Apple states that the connector ships in October.

We have reached out for clarification.

Yesterday, we attempted to clear up confusion surrounding Apple’s three new adapters. The Lighting to 30-pin adapter (which costs $29 on its own) and Lightning to 30-pin adapter with cable (costing $39) have specific uses, whilst appearing quite expensive.

This is because the chips in the connectors enable several features that would be unavailable without them.

For example, it will enable:

  • Analog audio output to stereos, docks and anything else that uses a 30-pin cable of any sort to send audio.
  • USB audio output. If you’ve got a car stereo that takes a digital input over a wired-in USB cable, the adapter will still work.
  • Syncing and charging.

What they won’t allow you to do:

  • Utilize iPod Out, a relatively little used feature that allows transference of the iPod or iPhone’s music controls to an external screen or buttons, like the one in a car or on some home audio systems.
  • Video out. There are separate adapters coming for that: Lightning to HDMI and Lightning to VGA.

The cost of the other two adaptors is not yet known.

If you were worried you would need to spend $29 purchasing a Lightning to 30-pin adaptor for your old accessories, worry not. Apple has your first one covered.

Update: Following the publishing on this article, TNW reader Ryan Moores reached out to share clarification he received from one of Apple’s online sales representatives. According to the representative, it is “an error” and it is “being investigated at the moment”.

Apple is currently investigating the matter and we are awaiting a response for final clarification on the matter.


Apple has also revised the wording on its iPhone 5 order pages, removing references to a free adaptor:

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