Apple's Lightning Connector Has Knock-Off Preventing Chip

Credit: Apple Insider / Double Helix CablesCredit: Apple Insider / Double Helix CablesAlong with the new iPhone and iPods unveiled earlier this month, Apple released its next-generation sync cables, the "lightning" connectors. Ditching the company's dated 30-pin model, Apple made the switch to a much smaller and more convenient connector. The problem is that users would now have to purchase a whole new collection of iPhone accessories. Even worse, it looks like budget third party providers won't be an option this time around.

According to a report from AppleInsider, Apple's new connector features an authentication chip that may indicate many of the cheap, third party cables on sale won't function properly. The folks over at Double Helix Cables took apart one of Apple's new connectors, identifying the inclusion of what appears to be an authentication chip.

"There is basically no way those are functional cables," the company explained. "You can't just build a Lightning cable by making something with the same shape and connectivity, and my teardown proves that. The chip has to be there, and it is directly in the signal path of the V+ wire."

The new information means iPhone 5 customers should be wary when purchasing budget-friendly third-party connectors. The authenticator chip means Apple is getting serious about controlling its accessory market. When the 30-pin connector first came out, Apple offered replacements for a hefty cost, something that was quickly diminished when third parties created cables for as little as a dollar a piece. Now it looks like our only choice for extra cables will be to pay the Apple premium or a similar cost from authorized accessory makers.

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  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer
    I'm shocked, shocked, I say, that Apple would do something like this!

    ...said no one ever.
    46
  • bllue
    So costumers are now literally forced shell $30 for this crap now? Talk about pure greed
    37
  • game junky
    Oh Apple, can't you be a participator - your loyal following will still give you a hefty allotment of their monthly check for your gadgets, can't you let the cheapskates like myself have our dignity back by not having to spend $19 on a frickin sync cable?

    Lame
    34
  • Other Comments
  • game junky
    Oh Apple, can't you be a participator - your loyal following will still give you a hefty allotment of their monthly check for your gadgets, can't you let the cheapskates like myself have our dignity back by not having to spend $19 on a frickin sync cable?

    Lame
    34
  • bllue
    So costumers are now literally forced shell $30 for this crap now? Talk about pure greed
    37
  • cscott_it
    This isn't surprising really, Apple makes money hand over fist from their accessory sales. So in their eyes they are both increasing the quality on the market (until someone comes up with a workaround or if possible a chip that can spoof their authentication) and increase the rate of direct accessory purchases from Apple.

    I heard rumors about this happening (or something like it) but it looks like it was implemented.
    17