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Apple’s new Lightning to USB-C adapter costs more than just buying a USB-C cable


A stylized Apple logo on a black background for Apple's Peek Performance event on March 8, 2022.

This story is part of our complete Apple event coverage

I don’t think the iPhone 15’s transition to USB-C is going to be all that painful. Yes the Lightning plug has found its way to every corner of the world and you’re just as likely to find one to charge up your phone as you are any other cable when you’re desparate for some juice, but we can’t discount just how many USB-C chargers, cables, and accessories there are out in the world already. This is going to go just fine.

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But you can always count on Apple to take advantage of switching standards with some hilariously priced — and borderline pointless — adapters to ease the transition for people who don’t know any better but to click a few extra buttons and buy official accessories when they’re buying their latest device. Enter, Apple’s USB-C to Lightning adapter, which is conveniently already available on the Apple Store.

For just $29 you can buy this adapter, which lets you take an existing Lightning accessory and feed it into your new iPhone 15’s USB-C port. Yes, twenty-nine dollars. That’s $10 more than its polishing cloth!

Sure there are some specialized accessories that only work with Lightning right now, like a few pairs of wired headphones and some specialized audio/video devices — and it may make sense for some small number of people for a short period of time to use this $29 adapter rather than waiting it out with an older phone or for the accessory to be re-released with USB-C. But honestly, c’mon, we know 99% of peoples’ use of the Lightning port on their iPhone is for charging, and that just makes this adapter silly.

Do yourself a favor and just go to Amazon and buy a regular USB-C cable for a fraction of the cost of this adapter. Heck, even Apple’s own 1-meter USB-C cable costs just $19. Save the difference and put it toward buying some more new accessories when they’re released supporting USB-C.

And, remember to responsibly recycle your old Lightning tech when you’re done with it — don’t just throw it in the trash.