Awesome Stocking Stuffers for Your New iPhone

Accessories can make the iPhone an even better gift then it already is.

By Leah Yamshon
Thu, December 19, 2013

IDG News Service —

Apple iPhone 5C
If you're getting someone an iPhone for the holidays--or if you got one for yourself--the next step is to accessorize. Accessories make great companion gifts that are not only thoughtful, but are super useful to boot. Here are a few handy accessories to make that new iPhone even more awesome. In fact, they're so handy that they'll fit perfectly inside that stocking hanging from your fireplace mantle.

[ First Look: Apple iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C ]

Protective case

Apple's designers surely didn't mean for the iPhone's sleek design to be covered up, but failing to give it a protective case leaves the device vulnerable to smudges and scratches--or, worse, shattered glass and bent metal. A case is an excellent companion gift to the iPhone.

Whichever type of case you choose, make sure it doesn't block the iPhone 5/5s and iPhone 5c's bottom-mounted speaker, headphone jack, microphone, and dock-connector port; top-mounted microphone; the camera lens and flash on the back; and the camera lens, light sensor, and proximity sensor on the front--unless, of course, the case is designed so that you remove your iPhone to use it.

Similarly, if you like to use dock-cradle accessories, make sure the case is easily removable, as many of the docking accessories, such as speaker systems, are not compatible with cases.A Also, if you have an iPhone 5s, make sure that the case doesn't interfere with the Home button, so Touch ID will work properly.

Cases come in a variety of styles, from basic shells that add a rigid layer of protection to the entire phone to extra-rugged cases that can be used underwater. Our list of favorite iPhone cases runs the gamut, but here are a few that stand out:

  • LifeProof Nuud ($90; Rugged; iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c)
  • SwitchEasy Nude ($20; Hard-shell; iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c)
  • Pad and Quill Little Pocket Book ($70; Wallet; iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c)

Extra Lightning cable

If you're like me, you have close to a zillion of Apple's old 30-pin cables lying around, coupled with accessories made to fit the 30-pin connector port.

With the iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c, you'll need products that fit its updated Lightning port. Though the iPhone ships with one cable, an extra Lightning to USB cable ($19) is a must-have, as is Apple's Lightning to 30-pin adapter ($39) for your accessories.


The iPhone comes with Apple's signature EarPods, but they're not the most comfortable (at least not to me). Plus, there are plenty of earbuds out there that provide better sound quality as well as a better fit. Use your ears--literally--to tell if a pair is good, instead of relying on reading specs: Opt to try out a pair at a brick-and-mortar store first, if you can. (For more tips, check out our headphone buying guide.)

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