With Apple’s focus on App technology, many of their accessories focus on USB connectivity. The number of connectors, cables and adapters presently on the market is astonishing and overwhelming. Depending on your needs, the next Apple product you buy will probably need a USB adapter. The question is: Should I buy the Apple adapter or another company’s version?
These Apple products are believed to be the top in their class and can be found in Apple’s website.
- Apple USB Power Adapter: Touted as being compatible with any iPhone and all iPod models, this adapter is small and compact, but is it really worth $30?
- Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit: Unfortunately, the iPad doesn’t have a USB port, but with this connection kit, many external devices will be able to take advantage of the integrated USB connector.
- Apple Universal Dock: With a built-in USB port for charging, this $60 dock will work with the iPhone and and most iPods, but iPad owners will have to look to the Camera Connection Kit as an alternative.
These alternatives, although you have to hunt for them (try Amazon or Best Buy), are cheaper and just as effective.
- CET Domain iPhone and iPod Compatible USB Power Adapter: At just $7, this power adapter is a great alternative for consumers looking for less expensive accessories.
- Griffin AC Adapter: Griffin’s AC adapter is compatible with the iPad and $10 cheaper than the Apple version. It can also charge most iPod models. This adapter can also replace the $60 Universal Dock which Apple says is the premium power source for both the iPhone and iPod.
At a $10-$30 difference in price, alternative power accessories are just as effective as its Apple counterpart. But because Apple is built on its name and its quality of service these alternatives, like Griffin will always just fill a niche market.