Is Apple shipping free Lightning adaptors with the new iPhone 5? [UPDATED: No]

14 Sep 2012

No matter how Apple try to dress it up as a necessary improvement, the new Lightning connector is bound to draw the ire of users who already own devices now incompatible with the iPhone 5. But will it at least provide a free adaptor in the box with the new iPhone 5 to appease customers?

The 80pc smaller 9-pin Lightning connector was announced alongside the iPhone 5 and new iPod range on Wednesday. All of these devices, as well as future products in Apple’s range, will use the new connector, which is necessary for building slimmer models. The Lightning connector also connects in any orientation and Apple claims it is faster than its previous cable.

While Apple also presented the case that there are now many wireless options for connectivity and transferring files (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, mobile connectivity and cloud facilities) there’s still no hiding the fact that a change to the universal connector is something that will hit the pockets of users with older devices and accessories.

What’s in the box?

However, going through the iPhone 5 pre-order process, The Next Web discovered that a Lightning to 30-pin adaptor would be provided for free with the device. Under the Accessories order panel, the first option is an “additional” adaptor. Beneath it, the text reads: “Your iPhone includes a Lightning to 30-pin adaptor for connecting 30-pin accessories to devices featuring the Lightning connector.”

Apple has not officially said the iPhone 5 will ship with a free adaptor, nor is it listed in the iPhone 5 ‘What’s in the Box?’ section.

Sold out

If it transpires that the adaptor does in fact ship with the device, those that rushed to buy one ahead of the pack might feel a little stung – and there were many that did. According to AppleInsider, Lightning to 30-pin adaptors sold out in the online store just half an hour after iPhone 5 pre-orders began.

A visit to the Irish online Apple store will show you that pre-orders for the iPhone 5 are not yet available, but a glance down the page shows you the adaptor and an enticing ‘Buy Now’ link. Because of the depleted stocks, new orders for both the compact adaptor (€29) and a variant with a 0.2m cable (€39) won’t ship until October, so perhaps consumers should hold off on pre-ordering until they know for sure if one comes with an iPhone 5 purchase.

Apple is also planning to release adaptors for Lightning to micro-USB, HDMI and VGA.

UPDATE: One hopeful but skeptical customer contacted Apple about the mention of a free adaptor during the order process and was informed by a customer service representative that it is in fact an error that is being investigated. Since then, Apple has removed the text that suggests a free adaptor comes in the box in the link above. So, officially, no adaptor comes free with the iPhone 5, but considering how many orders may have been processed before this was clarified, Apple may have to ship some to disgruntled customers – at least they can hope.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic