View Full Version : iPhone in-car chargers...what to look for or be aware of?

2009-12-28, 19:40
I'm looking for a simple, inexpensive in-car charger for my iPhone (first-generation 4GB model, silver/black).

Griffin and all the usual places carry one for $12-24, depending on design, features, etc.

However, I don't need a wall charger, nor do I need any sort of radio/FM transmitter functionality. I just want to charge my iPhone in my car, on days when I see heavy usage and the battery is dropping low by early afternoon.

I'm seeing ones on eBay for $5, give or take. Are those off-brands to be trusted? The last thing I need is to get some weird, no-name thing (even though it says "works with iPhone" or whatever) and have it zap the shit out of my iPhone, or do something funky with the voltage or surge to otherwise render my iPhone useless.

Then I'm looking at a $200 outlay (and a bump in my monthly plan for a new 3G iPhone). Which would displease me greatly.


So...what's your advice? Bite the bullet and get one of the overpriced (IMO) "name" chargers (and have someone to yell at if anything ever goes wrong), or spend 1/3 or 1/4 the money just to get a cheap, no-frills car charger off eBay? Is this one of those situations where "you get what you pay for", or are the name-brand accessories priced higher than they should be and I'm smart to try and save a few bucks?

I didn't know if there were things to be aware of? I'm worried less about piss-poor quality (what would you expect for $5-6), and more about weird voltage concerns or zapping/bricking my phone.


Help! Thanks in advance for any useful, legit info.

2009-12-28, 22:31
Any DC to USB adapter is good enough really. It doesn't have to say iPhone on it to work. It's just easier to get one branded as iPhone because it comes with the cable/dock connector already. Surely you have a spare iPod cable laying around though.

Get a cheap one. We use a DC to USB adapter for my Wife's iPhone 3G and my 1st Gen iPhone (used as a Touch).

2009-12-29, 08:39
Thanks. After 62 views, someone finally delivered the goods! :)

No, I don't have a spare iPod/30-pin dock cable lying around, oddly enough. I should, but I don't...

I think my Mom or sister might. I'll ask.

2009-12-29, 09:48
I have iPod cables all over the place. I honestly don't even know how many I have.

I have a cable n my desk at home, downstairs near my TV, on my desk, one in my car, one in my travel bag, and one in my work bag.

I'm sure there are more, but I pretty much always have one around. There's usually a spare USB port wherever I am.

2009-12-29, 10:05
Well, I've always included them with the iPod I was selling. That's why I don't have one. I see name-brand chargers at Walmart or places like that for about $9-11, and it's just the part you stick into the cigarette lighter, no cable included.

If I could just snag one of those, and then grab a spare 30-pin to USB cable at my Mom's or somewhere, I'd be in business.

2009-12-29, 10:40
As always, MonoPrice to the rescue!

I got this generic one for about $4 plus shipping. Works fine.


They also have iPod/iPhone USB cables for dirt cheap if you want to pick up a spare while ordering the adapter. Just $1.58 for this one:


2009-12-29, 10:56
Awesome. Thanks!