I recently upgraded from an Iphone 4 to a 5s.

I have 4 different docks that worked with all my previous Iphones and Ipods - I just swapped out a cheap plastic holder around the connector that could hold my new device.

Iphone 5 dock fail

They sell two adapters for this in the Apple store, but it's useless for me since:

  1. It costs £25 per adapter. That's £100 ($160) for the 4 docks, which is insane
  2. The short one is an inch long and doesn't hold the base of the phone (the way every dock expects) which means that the phone will just fall over if I try to use it.
  3. The long one also doesn't support my Iphone in a vertical position

I need an adapter that sits on an old Apple dock, but that holds the base of the phone so that it stays upright.

I can't find anything that does this online, and most of what I can find states that it can't support audio in the small print. When I ask in shops they look at me like I'm crazy and then try to sell me a USB cable.

90% of the Iphone docks sold still have the the (now obsolete) old Apple connector. It seems like a massive oversight that nobody makes a dock adapter.

Are there commercial sources of 30 pin dock adapters that:

  • Support audio function equivalent to apple’s 30 pin to lightning adapters.
  • Holds the phone upright (y'know, as if in a phone dock)
  • Optionally include the adapter so I don't need both a prop and a cable/dongle to replicate the old drop-in flip function of these docks.
  • (Ideally) is reasonably priced
  • "Support audio function equivalent to apple’s 30 pin to lightning adapters" I didn't think the Apple adapters provided any audio support…?
    – grg
    Mar 9, 2014 at 15:41
  • @grgarside Per Apple's spec, analog audio is supported on the Apple lightning to 30 pin adapters as well as sync and charge. Video support is what was dropped.
    – bmike
    Mar 9, 2014 at 15:58
  • 1
    @grgarside these devices include my hifi, and I've been playing music from them for years. It seems odd that the new Iphone can't do something basic all my previous ones could.
    – Keith
    Mar 9, 2014 at 21:12

3 Answers 3


My solution to your problem is to use the longer 30 pin to lightning adapter and lie the phone down rather than prop it up dock style, but I get the convenience of just dropping in a phone on any dock and not having to repurpose/recycle otherwise functional docks prematurely. I also just use one cable and bring it with my device rather than fixing all the docks (as I still use them with 30 pin devices more than I do with lightning devices).

If you don't mind the longer cable, get the Cradle with Audio port from Belkin - especially if you want the analog audio option or don't want to add height on top of the docking station.

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If you need a commercial insert, the best one out is the Kickstarted project that ended funding 31 Jan 2013 that now sells the Flybridge insert commercially in packs of 1, 2 and 5 to save on both shipping and the per-unit cost.

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Since these have been in the wild for more than a year, I've not heard of major problems and you might even find someone to fabricate a similar plastic insert if for some reason you don't want an injection molded piece or your docks aren't among the ones listed as compatible with the product.

  • Flybridge (aside from requring the rediculously overpriced adapter) looks like what I need, though it's crazy that it took a Kick starter to get something like this going.
    – Keith
    Mar 9, 2014 at 20:57
  • On the same sort of idea I found this, which appears to be a cheaper alternative (in the UK at least, as Flybridge's UK shipping is more than the product). How come no integrated devices? Did Apple just want to force all the dock makers out of the business?
    – Keith
    Mar 9, 2014 at 21:49
  • I think some dock makers are probably pretty happy about the change. They get to sell a whole new crop of devices. @Keith
    – dwightk
    Mar 10, 2014 at 15:41
  • @dwightk some, yeah. Most don't seem to have re-tooled yet, or stockists have defunct docks to ship. High end audio stuff (B&O, Bose, etc) is still mostly 30 pin, and the majority of the lightening kit is part-funtioning knock offs.
    – Keith
    Mar 11, 2014 at 22:23
  • Any cheaper knockoffs options that someone can suggest?
    – Alex S
    Jan 28, 2016 at 7:48

This isn't going to be a very graceful answer, but if the 4 items you were docking with before have 3.5mm audio in, you can get an Apple iPhone 5s dock ($29) which has line out and will support your iPhone in an upright position.

It will not, however adapt your old dock to interface with the item in any of the other ways you are used to.

  • 2 of my docks can control the Iphone (select tracks, etc) and I lose that switching to the audio line in. Cheers anyway.
    – Keith
    Mar 9, 2014 at 21:09

You could fashion a makeshift dock out of matchsticks. I'd recommend removing the sulfer from the strikey end first to avoid any unwanted housefires but with some model glue, if you were really careful you could put together a decent support structure that would keep your phone upright when you wanted to dock it.

  • 2
    Jim, I can't wait to stick a lump of glue and matchsticks atop my hifi to balance my expensive phone on. If that's the only option I'll go with a cable.
    – Keith
    Mar 9, 2014 at 20:59
  • I can't downvote this because it's hilarious.
    – Saturn
    Mar 10, 2014 at 4:02

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