Hands on with the Apple iPhone 5c dock

Apple didn't just release 2 new phones this past week, it also released a bunch of official accessories to go with them. Apple skipped a generation with the iPhone 5 with regards to offering up a dock, but with the release of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c they're back. What we've got here is the iPhone 5c dock, that doubles up and will also cater quite nicely for the iPhone 5/5s.

On the hardware front, we're looking at another delightfully minimal effort from Apple, very much following on from what came before it. White plastic exterior, line out port and Lightning in port on the rear, Lightning connector in the recess at the front. Underneath we're treated to an Apple branded rubber base to stop things sliding around, but otherwise that's about it. There's no Lightning cable in the box – as with previous docks – so you will need to use the one that came with your iPhone.

Unfortunately, I don't have an iPhone 5c to hand just yet, but as previously mentioned it houses the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s just fine. The extra thickness of the iPhone 5c means that things work this way round, but the 5c wouldn't fit the iPhone 5s dock. Unlocking using Touch ID is a little awkward, but if you want a dock that fits both phones then you could do a lot worse.

And that's it. There's nothing else to say about it, because it's exactly what it says on the box. A dock for your iPhone 5c – and your iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s. Minimalist, practical, and exactly what we want from an iPhone dock. And it doesn't cost the earth, either. A welcome return to the accessories game for Apple.

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Hands on with the Apple iPhone 5c dock

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They skipped out on a dock last year, which tells me that they may keep this form factor and size for a couple of more revisions at most. Then again, I could buy it and they change the form factor and size, making people buy a new dock.

Weird that Apple didn't ship the current 5S dock for the 5 last year.
Exactly the same dimensions (from the dock's perspective.)

But no, the 5S dock doesn't imply anything about next year's iPhone.
Could be a total redesign. The tail doesn't wag the dog.

Richard, did you get a chance to test if the 5S with the leather case would work with the 5C dock??

Afraid not, don't have one of those either. I don't think it would though, it's tight enough as it is, and this dock is going to be slightly wider than the one for the 5s.

Yes. I have the 5S dock. Bought it because I usually have my iPhone in my MagPul case during the day and not in a case in the evening and on weekends. But I really do like the new leather cases. They're just a bit of a pain to come off, which is a good thing because it keeps the form factor small. I was just hopping the 5C dock would allow it to fit with the case on.

I don't know why people waste their money on docks like this one (ones in which you have to supply your own cable), when there are docks with built-in cables.

Yeah but then you'll have to buy another cable (unless you unplug the dock to use the cable whilst traveling). That's another $20 just for the lightning cable from Apple. In contras, the Belkin dock is $31. So when you minus the cost of the cable, you're only paying $11 for the dock.

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I see your point, but most people have multiple cables floating around. I have several. Just plug it in to the one by my computer or bedside and BAM done. I do think they should have lowered the price by about $5-10 bucks for the exclusion of the cable, however.

don't hold your breath. I'm surprised they still make all their accessories in white considering the only white products they sell are 3 iPhone models (routers don't count) these days. You'd think they'd make them in silver or black.

Richard can you show a video of taking the phone off the dock? Do you have to hold the dock down while removing the phone? The dock seems pretty light when compared to dockplus.com.

There's no way you're taking the iPhone off this dock without holding it down. Tbh I expect to have to do that, so it wasn't a disappointment to me :)

ah i see, thanks for the response! i got in my dockplus so im excited to test it with my 5s when it finally gets to me.

I wish Apple would design these things to fit at least their own case. I'd be willing to say at least 90% of people put a case on their iPhones. I bought a 5s one but instantly regretted it. Won't return it as you pretty much have to mutilate the package to get it out, but unless I go with full body skin protectors (which I probably will at some point), it's not going to get much use.

If you don't need the audio out capability, go for the $30 Belkin dock. The Belkin dock works with many cases, including the Apple leather 5S case, without having to remove them.

I am also in agreement that Apple needs to make a dock that works with, or without a case. That would be a better product.

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I am very surprised that it works with the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5s. I thought the different colors would make all the accessories incompatible.