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Belkin first third-party firm to announce Lightning-based products

Belkin has become the first third-party manufacturer to announce official accessories compatible with Apple's new Lightning connector.

The company today unveiled the Car Charger and Charge + Sync Dock for Lightning, the first in a series of Lightning accessories set for release by Belkin this year.

The Car Charger is an "updated version of Belkin's best-selling, slim-profile car charger," which will come with a 1.2m cable. It will be compatible with the iPhone 5, iPad mini, iPad 4, seventh-generation iPod nano and fifth-gen iPod touch. The designed-for-desktop Charge + Sync Dock, on the other hand, will only work with the iPhone 5.

"Belkin was the first third-party manufacturer to develop accessories for the 30-pin connector back in 2003, and we are thrilled to be first to market again with solutions for the new Lightning connector," stated the GM of Belkin's core division, Martin Avila.

"People are eager for Lightning accessories and Belkin's give them a reliable way to keep their new iPhone 5, iPad 4th generation, iPad mini or iPod touch charged, protected, and ready to go."

The accessories can be pre-ordered from Belkin's US site immediately, for $29.99 (£19) each, but will begin shipping towards the middle of the month.

Apple last month revealed that only approved third-party companies would be able to produce Lightning-based accessories.