For a while now, I’ve been in need of an additional USB to lightning cable for my iPhone 5. I’ve got tons of the old 30-pin style cables at home, but only one of the lightning connector cables that came with my phone. I’ve been putting off buying one for a while, as the Apple ones seem expensive and with the authentication chip in the lightning connector, alternatives are limited. A couple of weeks ago, I happened across the Eastern Collective cables on coolhunting.com. I liked the individuality of their cables and although they’re expensive, they’re not much different to a standard Apple cable, cost-wise. I ordered one from easterncollective.com and it turned up the other day:
The company is based in the States and I couldn’t find a UK distributor. The Eastern Collective web shop will ship to the UK and with the current GBP/USD exchange rate, it wasn’t criminally expensive, so I took the plunge. The cable arrived within a week or so, which wasn’t bad considering it had come half-way across the world. Eastern Collective also do a range of other cables, including Apple 30-pin and mini USB in all sorts of patterns & colours. I chose a blue & yellow one:
The USB end of the cable has a nice Eastern Collective logo on it:
The lightning connector end is as you’d expect:
The quality of the cable and the connectors appears very good and the pattern looks ace, with vivid, bright colours. It’ll certainly stand out at home amongst the nest of white 30-pin cables and make it easier for me to pick the right cable for my iPhone 5.
My Eastern Collective Lightning cable stopped working recently :-( Since I upgraded to iOS v7, I’ve been getting warnings on my phone’s screen when I connect the cable saying that it’s not a certified cable. I was able to dismiss the warning and everything would work just fine. I recently updated to iOS v7.0.4 and it appears that Apple have updated the behavior of non-certified cables. Now, a non-certified cable won’t even charge the phone, making them redundant. My Eastern Collective cable sadly was not Made for iPhone (MFI) certified and so stopped working.
I looked into this and Eastern Collective said that their cables are now MFI certified, so I took the plunge and ordered another one. Sure enough, it works flawlessly with my iPhone 5 on iOS v7.0.4, with no errors or warnings. Happy days! The newer cables look slightly different to my old one pictured above – the white plastic housing around the lightning connector is a bit chunkier and the USB end no longer has the funky pattern, but is just plain white. The cable bit looks exactly the same as the old one however.