You can connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod to your computer's USB port with this Lightning connector for syncing or charging. You can also use the Lightning connector to charge from a wall outlet. Syncing your iPhone to other devices gives you an incredible ease of use and greatly broadens the capabilities of your iPhone. Most cables allow you to charge as well which enables you to charge when it might otherwise be impossible. With an adapter you can even connect to a big screen TV and share data, display videos, photos or anything from your iPhone.
Lightning is an all digital eight-pin connector that can be inserted into the device with either side facing up. The left most pin on one side is the same pin as the rightmost pin on the other side enabling it to be interchangeable. It is the first cable with this capability though it only provides interface to USB 2.0.
There has been mixed reactions to the Lightning cable mostly due to its incompatibility with the 30 pin and Micro USB connectors.
Lightning connectors are designed with an authentication chip which makes it hard for third party manufacturers to produce compatible accessories with out Apple's approval. A new generation of adapters are sure to come hence, analysts have said that Lightning could be Apple's standard cable for the next decade.
A few more cables and adapters from Apple are:
-The Apple 30 pin to USB Cable: Allows you to charge and sync your iPhone with MAC or Windows PC
-The Lightning to 30 pin Adapter: A compact adapter to connect your 30 pin accessories to devices that feature the Lightning connector.
-The Apple 5W USB Power Adapter: A convenient USB-based adapter to charge your iPhone at home or from any wall outlet when it's not connected to a computer.
-The Lightning Digital AV Adapter: Connects your iPhone to display slides, movies, photos ect. on your HDTV, video projection or any HDMI compatible display.
-The Lightning to 30 pin Adapter (0.2m): An adapter to connect 30 pin accessories to devices that feature the lightning connector (0.2m).
-The Lightning to VGA Adapter: Allows you to display your iPhone's slides, movies and photos on your HDTV, video projection or any VGA compatible display.
-The Lightning to Micro USB Adapter: Connects an iPhone, iPad, or iPod with Lightning connector to a micro USB cable for syncing and charging.