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Apple's Lightning Connector Has Knock-Off Preventing Chip

By - Source: Appleinsider | B 71 comments

Looks like we won't be seeing $2 Lightning cables anytime soon.

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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Top Comments
  • 46 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , September 27, 2012 1:57 PM
    I'm shocked, shocked, I say, that Apple would do something like this!

    ...said no one ever.
  • 37 Hide
    bllue , September 27, 2012 1:55 PM
    So costumers are now literally forced shell $30 for this crap now? Talk about pure greed
  • 34 Hide
    game junky , September 27, 2012 1:55 PM
    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
Other Comments
  • 34 Hide
    game junky , September 27, 2012 1:55 PM
    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
  • 37 Hide
    bllue , September 27, 2012 1:55 PM
    So costumers are now literally forced shell $30 for this crap now? Talk about pure greed
  • 17 Hide
    cscott_it , September 27, 2012 1:56 PM
    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.
  • 46 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , September 27, 2012 1:57 PM
    I'm shocked, shocked, I say, that Apple would do something like this!

    ...said no one ever.
  • 18 Hide
    ELMO_2006 , September 27, 2012 1:59 PM
    Yeah, pretty pathetic by any standard. And by the looks of things, the new connector seems flimsy and of all things made of plastic!?
  • 28 Hide
    samkl , September 27, 2012 2:02 PM
    Is there is no significant reason for the chip and it's there to keep 3rd party cables out. It's the leap towards "SONY-fication" of Apple. In 7-10 years, Apple will find itself where Sony is now. I am beginning to question if I should upgrade from 4s to 5 or ditch Apple ecosystem.
    -SK
  • 26 Hide
    dark_knight33 , September 27, 2012 2:15 PM
    Isn't there an anti-competitve law someplace that this violates? Someone call the lawyers... I'm certain there is no shortage of people that want to sue apple.
  • 25 Hide
    syrious1 , September 27, 2012 2:17 PM
    $30 for a cable and chip that possibly cost them nearly $1 to manufacture I imagine.
  • 11 Hide
    ricardok , September 27, 2012 2:23 PM
    crApple products now with chips that won't allow you using 3rd party stuff..

    Next: crApple docks, crApple car stereos... Anything that they can make so people can use their iPhones.
    Why? Cuz if there is this chip on a cable than you can imagine that you will not be able to use docks that don't have the same chip..
  • 14 Hide
    ddpruitt , September 27, 2012 2:26 PM
    I'd like to see the Apple fan boys justify this one. I have an older iPod I use in my car and I've always bought cheap ($8ish) replacement cables off of Amazon. I'd imagine that after a few months someone will figure out how to bypass the chip. If I remember correctly the 30 pin connector had to have some internal resistors to function properly.
  • 25 Hide
    aggroboy , September 27, 2012 2:26 PM
    Well with Jobs gone, we can witness its slow and quiet descent into irrelevance.
  • 26 Hide
    southernshark , September 27, 2012 2:30 PM
    Just another reason I will never purchase iCrap.
  • 22 Hide
    southernshark , September 27, 2012 2:32 PM
    f0xnewzI'm not Apple Fan Boy, but I do like iPods, specifically the shuffe. Best sports/running audio player Iv ever owned. .


    Try a Sandisk next time, not much bigger, but with a hella lot more memory (16gb on board and with a micro SD slot) and it has better controls.
  • 16 Hide
    freggo , September 27, 2012 2:35 PM
    I like that move!
    Really; i think it is great. Anything to show those loyal Apple clones what kind of company they are loyal too.
    Can't wait to see Ford or GM to come out with a new car that uses nuts and bolts with embedded computer chips so only an authorized Ford Dealer can change your tires, your oil and the air filter.
  • 9 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 27, 2012 2:35 PM
    Way to go Apple driving even more fickle customers into the arms of Android, WP or Blackberry for the sake of a goddam sync cable
  • 5 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , September 27, 2012 2:39 PM
    Any tech owned by apple will never see the light of day again whether they are using it or not. Much as I admire their products I simply cannot support their business moral. They have actually become the guy who bought all the houses on the block just to have space between them and the neighbours. Rather sad.
  • 16 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , September 27, 2012 2:40 PM
    BigMac2Wow what a fallacious article.Do I need to remember you all about the Lightning ability to dynamically address pin signal, making this port reversible and future proof? To work you need a controller chips in your cable like thunderbolt, so please cut the crap of evil Apple scheme, it's only a cable god damn.


    This capability could have been built into the ports on the connected devices. Putting it on the cable is just a way to make $$$ from 5c chips.
  • 5 Hide
    bak0n , September 27, 2012 2:41 PM
    samklIs there is no significant reason for the chip and it's there to keep 3rd party cables out. It's the leap towards "SONY-fication" of Apple. In 7-10 years, Apple will find itself where Sony is now. I am beginning to question if I should upgrade from 4s to 5 or ditch Apple ecosystem. -SK

    I ditched after the iPod touch.
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