The First Third-Party Lightning Accessories Are a Car Charger and a Stupid Dock

The authenticator chips in Apple's new Lightning connectors put a stop to unauthorized third-party accessories, at least for a little while. In the meantime, authorized third-party accessories are on the way. The first pair are a car charge and a dock from Belkin.

The car charger is pretty run of the mill. One end plugs into your cigarette lighter "power outlet" and the other one goes into your iDevice's lightning adapter. Simple as that. No holder, no dock, just charging. That'll run you $30. The other—stranger—accessory is a dock, but catch this: it doesn't actually come with a connector. You can place your iPhone on it, and use it for audio out, but unless you snake your own cable through it, it can't charge. BYOC. That one is $30 as well, but it's effectively $60 if you count that extra piece you'll have to pick up from Apple.

Both are available for pre-order now, and are due to ship mid-November. The car charger's fine, but hopefully adapter-less docks aren't about to become a trend. If so, you better hope those working knock-off Lightning cables start rolling out, and fast.