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Mobile Accessories

Get the coolest Lightning cable ever for $11.99

Cheapskate exclusive! The iOrange-E cable is flat, MFi-certified and equipped with a simple but incredibly useful feature.

CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page.


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This Lightning cable glows red while charging, green when done. Brilliant! iOrange

If you own a modern Apple device -- iPhone, iPad -- you've probably discovered that Lightning cables can be hit and miss. The cheap ones in particular tend to be "miss," working fine one day and failing the next.

That's why I've sworn off cheap Lightning cables; I won't buy any that aren't MFi-certified and backed by a warranty. And, now, having used one of the cables in today's deal, I won't buy any that aren't "smart."

Wait, smart? Yep, as in, "glows red while charging and green when done." Ingenious, right? I certainly think so. And that's why I'm jazzed about this: Every Boutique (via Amazon) has the iOrange-E 6.6-foot Lightning cable with LED status indicator for $11.99. That's after applying coupon code L2OUQ59X at checkout. Regular price: $15.99. Shipping is free for Prime subscribers. Update: Seems these are now out of stock. The product page is alternately showing different products, different sellers, and other somewhat confusing options. Will try to get an update from the vendor.

iOrange

That link leads you to your choice of a white or green version; you can also get the cable in black. The same coupon code should work on all three, but it appears it's good for only one at a time. In other words, if you order two cables, the $4 discount applies to just one of them.

This may seem like a no-big-deal thing, but think about it: How do you know when your iPhone or iPad is done charging? You have to walk over and hit a button to check the battery gauge. With the iOrange-E cable, you can tell from across the room. The LEDs are bright, and they pulse with a cool, slow, Cylon vibe.

Meanwhile, you've got a flat, tangle-resistant cable that's MFi-certified, so in theory it should last longer than a generic cheapie. And iOrange backs it with a one-year warranty, so if it does die after, say, two months, you can get a replacement.

Based on a few of the user reviews, early failure can indeed be an issue. But that seems to be the nature of the Lightning beast; check Apple's user forums and you'll see countless reports of Apple-branded cables failing as well. (Why there isn't more uproar over this, I have no idea.) At least here you're not spending $30.

Rather, you're spending $12 and getting a cable that's way cooler. And a lot more durable, too -- both connectors look and feel much sturdier than on the stock Apple Lightning cable. I love, love mine and plan to snag several more. Assuming they don't sell out, that is.

(Speaking of that, if you click through using one of the above links and see a seller listed other than Every Boutique, it means stock has run out. Don't expect the coupon code to work with a different seller, and don't bother calling Amazon.)

Bonus deal: So I know from reading past user comments that many of you seriously dislike FreedomPop, at least as a phone carrier. But what about for straight-up Internet? Tanga has the refurbished Freedom Spot MiFi 500 mobile hotspot for $79.99 shipped, a price that includes 500MB of free 4G LTE data every month. (Paid plans are available if you need more data.) I've had one of these for a while, and I can't count how many times it has come to the rescue -- usually in hotels that want to charge for Wi-Fi. YMMV, of course, but I've been thoroughly satisfied with the product and service.

Update: Seems enough people like FreedomPop that the Freedom Spot is sold out. However, as one astute Cheapskate reader mentioned, you can get one of FreedomPop's phones with the same free-data deal and (probably -- I'm not positive) use it as a hotspot. Hey, and you can use it as a phone, too! The Kyocera Hydro, for example, is $69.99. See all Tanga's FreedomPop deals here.