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Apple’s newest mobile operating system, iOS7, brings great new features and a beautiful design but unfortunately it has also rendered many 3rd party Lightning accessories useless. Apple’s Made For iPhone program certifies that accessories are safe to charge and sync your Apple devices. Each Lightning accessory even has a tiny chip that certifies the accessory as MFi. There has been a constant cat and mouse game with Apple and 3rd party companies who attempt to circumvent this certification. These same companies promise future compatibility with iOS7 but  it is hardly worth it anymore to buy these cables to save a few bucks. There are dozens of solid MFi options which offer Apple reliability and terrific value.

Head below for the best MFi (Made For iPhone) certified Lightning cables on the market.

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In general we love the Amazon Basics Lightning cables which are fully MFi compliant, come in 3 different lengths and get absolutely stellar reviews from past purchasers. We do periodically see prices as low as $9 on bulk packaged Apple official cables, so be sure to follow 9to5Toys to keep up to date with the latest deals: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+. If you can’t wait and have to have Apple official cables your best bet is at Amazon. Keep in mind that 3rd party companies are now making MFi extended battery cases. In fact, you can grab a 2-port USB car charger and Lightning cable for nearly the same price Apple charges for just the cable.

belkin-lightning-cable

Update (7/30 8:15am): Belkin MIXIT↑ metallic Lightning cables are available in gold, silver, and gray (just like your iPhone) and feature a more durable braided cable.

Best overall value: Amazon Basics $14 w/ free shipping for Prime members/orders exceeding $25 or 3′ Monprice cable (black or white): $12 + $1.83 shipping

Best colored options: iFrogz by ZAGG, available in 7 colors $19 w/ free shipping (no longer available)

Best coiled cable: 4′ Griffin $25 + $3.50 shipping 

Best looking: Moshi premium aluminum $20 w/ free shipping

Best extra-long cable: 6′ Amazon Basics cable for $15 w/ free shipping for Prime members/orders exceeding or 6′ Monoprice (black or white) $12.78 + $2 shipping

nomadclip-mfi-nomad-lightningUpdate (7/16 2:30pm): Save 25% on Nomad’s new carabiner, key & credit card sized MFi Lightning cables

Honorable mentions:

Update (8/22 2:00pm): Monoprice now offers a MFi Lightning keychain w/ stowaway 6-inch cable for $14.99.

Car Chargers: There are a couple ways to get Lightning charging while on-the-go. The most low-cost and easiest way is to simply plug a loose MFi Lightning cable (from above) into a built-in USB port in your car. If your car doesn’t come equipped with a USB port the next best option is your cigarette lighter. I recommend buying a loose USB car charger, 10 watt preferred for quick charge, for maximum flexibility. You can plug any USB cable in there and charge a multitude of devices. The total cost is also lower because you can use the cable that came with your device. The other option is a car charger with bulit-in Lightning cable. This option is less flexible but makes it easier because the cable is not detachable.

Our picks for the best MFi Lightning car charging solutions:

Loose USB car charger: Belkin Car Charger 2.1 AMP/10 Watts $14 (Amazon direct)

Charger w/ built-in cable: Griffin PowerJolt SE $25 + $3.50 shipping

Loose charger and cable combo: AmazonBasics Lightning cable + 2-port USB car charger $19 w/ free shipping – Same price as a standalone Lightning cable from Apple!

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16 Responses to “Roundup: the best Apple-certified (MFi) Lightning cables and other accessories in various lengths/colors/styles”

  1. Steve Saxon says:

    I have an Amazon Basics cable and it works great. I would love to see the Moshi cable come in the same gold as my 5s :)

    I had been using the IdAmerica 3-in-1 (Lightning + 30-pin + micro USB), but it isn’t MFi certified and while it worked with my 5, it won’t work with the 5s.

  2. What about MFi Lightning to 30-pin cables? I Know it’s not the topic of conversation, but…

    What I’ve heard is, you have two choices: Apple’s $40 cable and Apple’s $30 adapter which is prone to breaking.

  3. Are there any 2 in 1 (lightning and 30 pin) or 3 in 1 (with a micro USB) that are certified? I love the convenience of having one cable for my various devices (iPhone 4s, iPad 2, iPhone 5, iPad mini).

  4. I have several of the 3′ RocketFish cables from Best Buy for $14. It was one of the first official third-party cables available and works with even the tightest-fitting cases. The cable is thicker and black, similar to the Amazon cable but a matte finish.
    The refurbished Apple cable has one big advantage: you can walk into any Apple Store to get it replaced. That’s huge if you’re traveling and the cable stops working.

    • Dan DeSilva says:

      Agreed. Good to hear that you’ve had good results with the Rocketfish. I think I’d choose Amazon over Best Buy strictly for their favorable return policy.

  5. I love my Zagg/ifrog products, but I would never recommend their lightning cables. They look cool, but also feel cheap and worst – mine only worked ONCE.

  6. I have the Amazon Basics lightning cable and it is NICE. It’s more heavy duty than the original cable (more hard plastic-y vs. rubbery). Would definitely recommend them!

  7. All4Cellular had new Apple Lightning Cables (OEM, no packaging) for $8.99 shipped on a Daily Deal, but that’s gone. At least they still have refurbished ones for $9.99 shipped. Nothing beats the real deal. http://www.all4cellular.com/product/apple-iphone-5-lightning-to-usb-cable-white-refurbished.html