When Apple started its “Made for i” (MFi) certification for Lightning cables, many thought it was an insidious way to get more money and raise costs for USB charge/sync cables for their iDevices. While that might be true, there are benefits to having high-quality cables for your high-cost mobile devices.
I’ve seen more than one friend ruin their iPhone and iPad with knock-off, low-cost Lighting cables. These experiences finally convinced me to toss out my cheapie cables. And thus started my pursuit of maximizing value when purchasing authentic or certified Lightning cables. And here is my advice to you:
Authentic Lightning Cables: You can find authentic Apple OEM Lightning cables on eBay. These generally come in a bag and not a retail box, but the item will be the same quality as the cable that came in your iDevice’s box. Be sure to look for a clear statement that the item is manufactured by Apple. Also be sure to buy from either a Top-Rated Seller or a seller with 98% or higher positive feedback.
Lately, I’ve been finding these authentic Apple OEM cables for less than US$10. Some are closer to $8 with free shipping.
Certified Lightning Cable: My favorite certified Lightning cable from a third party is Anker’s Lightning cable. I’ll even argue that Anker builds a better cable than Apple. They’re really that good.
I’ve found that Anker cables [Associate Link] sell for a relatively fair price on Amazon between $10 and $14 with free Prime shipping. If you’re shopping at Amazon for these, be certain to check the “Special Offers and Product Promotions” section. You might be able to save 10% or more on Anker products using codes right on the product page.
Amazon (as AmazonBasics) and Monoprice both offer their own branded certified Lightning cables, and I have every confidence these are fine products. These also come in varying lengths from 4 inches to 10 feet. I haven’t found anything but 1 meter cables from Apple and Anker.
On a Side Note
Back to Anker products, I recently replaced a cheap car charger for my iPhone. I chose an Anker 24W 2-port car charger [Associate Link], and I absolutely love this product. It was $10 with free Prime shipping from Amazon. I travel using Waze to get around Atlanta’s traffic, and the Anker charger charges my iPhone quickly without overheating it. It’s truly a terrific gadget.