An extra iPhone cable or two is never a bad thing to have, you never know which one of your friends may accidentally take one. But, if you want a replacement cable, Apple.com is definitely not the way to go.
iPhone accessories are notoriously expensive when they’re produced by Apple. A Lightning Cable — one that only works with the iPhone 5, iPad 4, and iPad Mini — is $20 from Apple.com. A Lightning to 30-pin is, oddly enough, more expensive — a hefty $30 bucks. For a cable! Anyone who buys an extra iPhone cable from Apple is definitely getting ripped off. That being said, Apple has an excellent replacement policy, and Apple’s iPhone cables are probably them most reliable you can get.
So what’s your best choice? Definitely going through third-party online retailers, like Amazon or Newegg.com. Third-party retailers have iPhone cords that can cost as little as a dollar, but there are some issues with them.
iPhone cables from Amazon and other online retailers tend to be less reliable and a bit more flimsy than the competition, but that’s what makes them so cheap. As Gizmodo notes, most of them are manufactures in China, which is another reason they’re so cheap. Many users have complained that cables detiorate over a few weeks, rip apart, or generally don’t work.
Personally, I’ve purchase a number of cables for my iPhone and iPad using Amazon or another online site with mixed results. The first two cables I bought didn’t work — I would connect my iPhone to the charger, but the iPhone wouldn’t recognize that it was plugged in. However, subsequent chargers I purchased have worked perfectly (I did buy a new phone though).
So, to summarize, the cheapest iPhone cables can definitely be found through online retailers like Newegg, but there’s also a chance that it may not work.