CableJive Lightning adaptor connects iPhone 5 to older speaker docks

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That didn’t take long. Just a week after the debut of the iPhone 5 and its much-discussed Lightning port, accessory maker CableJive has announced a new adapter, the DockBoss+ iPhone 5 Kit, that makes it possible to connect the new phone to speaker docks made for Apple’s older 30-pin dock connector.

The DockBoss+ iPhone 5 kit offers power and audio connections from your new phone to your old docks.

The $30 DockBoss+ iPhone 5 Kit is a 2.5-foot cable with a female 30-pin dock connector on one end for connecting to older speaker docks and similar audio accessories. At the other end are two connections: USB and minijack (3.5mm stereo audio). If you’ve got a speaker system that supports digital audio from the dock-connector port, you just connect your iPhone’s USB-to-Lightning cable to the DockBoss+’s USB port for charging and audio.

If you’ve got a 30-pin speaker dock that grabs analog audio from the dock-connector port—this includes many older systems, and a good number of inexpensive recent systems—the DockBoss+ works there, too. First you connect the iPhone’s USB-to-Lightning cable to the DockBoss+’s USB port, then you connect the included audio cable from your iPhone’s headphone jack to the DockBoss+’s audio minijack. (See the video below for a demonstration.)

Apple offers a $29 Lightning to 30-pin Adapter and a $39 0.2-meter cable version, but neither of those accessories are available yet. The DockBoss+ iPhone 5 Kit is the first such adapter we’ve seen—surely the first of many—that is actually available for purchase and is shipping to customers.

Owners of older docking stations may find CableJive’s solution inelegant, as one of the reason to own a dock, after all, is to avoid stringing cables around on shelves and desktops. But if you just shelled out $200 or more for a new iPhone 5, you might decide that buying an adapter cable is cheaper than buying a new Lightning-connector-equipped dock—and quicker than waiting for those docks to appear on the market.

Senior editor Dan Frakes contributed to this report.

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At a Glance
  • Pros

    • Slim, light case
    • Taller, roomier display
    • Improved performance
    • Higher-resolution front-facing camera


    • Lightning connector incompatible with older peripherals
    • Features limited by some carriers
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