updated 02:58 pm EST, Thu February 14, 2013
Priced as high as regular cable
Apple has released a new, shorter Lightning-to-USB cable at its online store. The 0.5m version is half the length of the standard cable, but nevertheless has an identical $19 pricetag. The cable is shipping in one to two business days.
Lightning was introduced last September, and is now the standard connector format on iOS devices. Third-party Lightning cables are relatively rare, however, since an authenticator chip is needed to make them compatible with iOS hardware. With the older 30-pin format, it was possible for vendors to quickly copy Apple's design with or without the company's approval.