A few people have been asking me about car chargers for the iPhone 3G so I thought I’d post a quick note about what I’m using.
First of all, be careful what you plug your shiny new iPhone into! Plenty of things are meant for iPods only and can actually fry your iPhone. Many iPod accessories do work with iPhones but unless you want to try out the warranty replacement program, do a quick google search about whatever device you are hoping is compatible. You’ve been warned!
Secondly, many old iPod accessories (and some 1st gen iPhone ones) use firewire as their method of powering/charging. Apple switched to USB power fairly recently so this is why many of these older devices won’t work with a newer iPod or iPhone. You will most likely get some variation on this message “This accessory is not compatible with your iPhone”.
You should be able to use any USB based car charging device – basically it’s a cigarette adaptor that has a USB port on the end. These tend to come with many gadgets these days – one came with a kit for my Nintendo DS, another with my GPS, etc. Simply plug in the USB cable that came with your iPhone 3G and you should be good to go. I didn’t want to have to lug that cable around so I simply picked up the Griffin PowerJolt (version 2) on my last trip to the Apple Store for $20. It comes with the USB plug and a black USB to Dock cable.
and here it’s connected in the car to my iPhone which is sporting my new green Speck PixelSkin cover and sitting in my Palm ‘Universal PDA holder’ which previously held my Treo 650.
So far so good…it completely charged my iPhone while driving home tonight.
Update: The PowerJolt works fine with my iPhone 3GS.