For many weeks after the iPhone 5 went on sale, there was a supply constraint for the Lightning to USB cable and Lightning to 30-pin adapter. But at S$28 and S$42 respectively, these accessories aren’t exactly what we’d call cheap, and this has led to many to turn to third-party (read: non-branded, usually China-made) alternatives. For example, many non-Apple authorized resellers are now selling third-party Lightning to USB cables for about S$18 each.
Third-party Lightning to 30-pin adapters are on the other hand harder to find - until now. Over the weekend, we spotted a shop at HarbourFront Centre selling unofficial Lightning to 30-pin adapters and even Lightning to Micro USB adapters at S$20 apiece. For the former, that’s easily 50% off the price of Apple’s own adapter.
Of course, since we didn’t test any of these third-party offerings, we couldn’t tell you if they work as intended. But here’s something you need to know: In addition to charging and syncing, Apple’s Lightning to 30-pin adapter also supports analog audio output and USB audio (though not video output). Whether a third-party adapter supports these additional functions is an unknown. If you’ve used one, we would like to hear from you.
All these being said, there's no lack of third-party Lightning accessories online. For example, Chinese firm iPhone5Mod is selling their own Lightning cables and adapters online, including a retractable lightning to USB cable and an iPhone 5 dock with a flashing Lightning cable.