or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › First fully-functional unauthorized Lightning cable reportedly slips out of China
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

First fully-functional unauthorized Lightning cable reportedly slips out of China

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Third-party manufacturers in China are supposedly mass-producing Lightning cables with working authentication chips allegedly reverse engineered from Apple's official model, and are shopping their wares to overseas resellers, AppleInsider has learned.

Chinese Lightning Cable


One such cable was shipped to a possible reseller in the West who, under the name "Magnus Hanso," provided AppleInsider with exclusive photos of the purported Lightning to USB connector, saying the component came directly from a manufacturer in China.

While AppleInsider cannot verify the legitimacy of the part, Hanso agreed to connect their iPhone 5 to a MacBook Pro using the cable, illustrating that the component does in fact allow the computer to recognize the handset. An image of a successful photo transfer was also provided for further verification.

Chinese Lightning Cable
Photo of iPhone 5 recognition and file transfer.


There are clear differences when comparing the purported Chinese "knock-off" and the official Apple-designed part that comes with every new iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch and seventh-generation iPod nano. Most notable is the unauthorized unit's plug, which is larger and more squared-off than its first-party counterpart. Also, the sleeve lengths of both the Lightning and USB plugs are much shorter on the third-party version.

Chinese Lightning Cable
Comparison of official Apple Lightning connector (marked in red) and unauthorized third-party cable.


Hanso noted that the build quality of the cable is quite good, equating it to an engineering sample. In comparison to non-Apple 30-pin cables the source has seen in the past, the Lightning to USB connector is of much higher quality.

While the unit was not torn down to confirm if an authentication chip was present, the third-party cable did interface correctly with a MacBook Pro, which recognized an iPhone 5 and completed a transfer of multiple image files.

It is possible that the alleged cable is using "leaked" or illegally purchased connectors from Apple's main supplier Cheng Uei, however it is unlikely that such black-market buys could support the scale of production hinted to by Hanso's Chinese distributor. Adding further evidence that the security device has been cracked is a Monday report that claimed the authentication chips themselves are already in production, with multiple variants being sold throughout China.

Chinese Lightning Cable
Third-party cable facilitating iPhone 5 recharge.


Finally, Hanso claims the unofficial cables are being priced well below official Apple units, and could be making their way to U.S. shores before the busy holiday shopping season.

With Apple widely expected to introduce a 7.85-inch iPad mini, and possibly a tweaked full-sized iPad with Lightning connectivity, at a special event later today, the rumored third-party cables could be positioned for quick sales as the company's own supply is running low. Currently, the Online Apple Store is quoting one to two weeks for a Lightning to USB cable.

AppleInsider was first to report that Apple was presumedly using an authentication chip with its 30-pin dock replacement. A subsequent investigation by analysis firm Chipworks revealed that the security device is a Texas Instruments chip that offers security measures on par with older print cartridges.
post #2 of 25
Bring on the $2 knockoffs! I had about a dozen 30-pin cables laying around the house (bedside, at my desk, kitchen island, living room, briefcase, messenger bag, both cars, etc.) that I bought cheap on eBay. None ever broke and they were very reliable (even the 6' cable I bought to use at my nightstand).

Can't wait to stock back up, because I refuse to pay $20 a cable for my iPhone 5 and my wife's iPhone 5.
post #3 of 25
To each his own, I guess...
but I just can't get all upset about the slightly higher Apple price ($2 knock-offs? In your dreams!).

I don't know whether they still do this, but Apple used to include anything you bought as accessories when you bought AppleCare with a major product under that 'umbrella'.

If it still works this way, and even if it doesn't, complaining about a couple bucks more for build quality, reliability, certain compatibility, and warranty (?), is a non-starter for me.
It's a small price to pay to keep Cupertino hummin' along.

I'm not one who thinks Apple products generally are over-priced, but they aren't bargain basement either, so paying a tad more for "the right stuff" just doesn't bug me.
post #4 of 25
It's all made by the same slaves! I'll take the el cheapo. Sooooo sorry, APPL shareholders.
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Bring on the $2 knockoffs! I had about a dozen 30-pin cables laying around the house (bedside, at my desk, kitchen island, living room, briefcase, messenger bag, both cars, etc.) that I bought cheap on eBay. None ever broke and they were very reliable (even the 6' cable I bought to use at my nightstand).
Can't wait to stock back up, because I refuse to pay $20 a cable for my iPhone 5 and my wife's iPhone 5.

Of my dozen cheap 30 pin cables, every single one was broken. Simply from constant use.

If you can afford a iPhone, don't think we should really bitch about a $20 cable. It won't break the bank.
White Nexus 7 8GB
Black & Slate iPhone 5 32GB AT&T
Reply
White Nexus 7 8GB
Black & Slate iPhone 5 32GB AT&T
Reply
post #6 of 25
There is no authentication chip. It's just a CRC chip.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by v1m View Post

It's all made by the same slaves! I'll take the el cheapo. Sooooo sorry, APPL shareholders.

Appell Petroleum shareholders don't give a crap, Einstein.
post #8 of 25

Use at your own risk!!  Be assured Apple will not replace or repair any IPHONE5 that has been damaged do to using an unauthorized cable.  Not worth saving $20 and risking a $700 iphone.

post #9 of 25
Have a look at the UK website and count yourself lucky !

http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/shop_iphone/iphone_accessories/cables_docks

Using today's currency exchange rates, the UK pays a lot more.

lightning to 30 pin adapter : $ 40.
lightning to 30 pin adapter cable : $ 64.
lightning to USB cable : $ 24.

I will certainly not feel guilty about using imitation. I find Apple severely shortcoming in not having the leads and adapters available at the same time as the the iPHONE 5 was sold, and think (like many do) that charging what they do is putting up a middle finger to their loyal customer base.

Tim Cook : TAKE NOTE !
Edited by JPDLVMH - 10/22/12 at 10:48pm
post #10 of 25
So I can save 5-10-15-20 bucks on a cable that might potentially frie my new phone or iPad? The potential for disaster will far out weigh any cost savings. Just driving to the Apple store for a replacement would negate the cost savings, let alone waiting.

I'm all for cheap alternatives, but I'll wait a few months for a company guaranteeing their products
post #11 of 25
What people have found is that the Lightning cable contains a chip that uses a one-pin serial connection for a fixed indentification number. This kind of chip has been used to identify battery packs, for example. Since the Lightning connector is supposed to be future proof, you'd expect the interface to include identifying information to tell it what electrical and logical protocol to use. It seems like a leap to call this an authentication chip.
post #12 of 25
Each knockoff cable comes with a 90-minute warranty.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Each knockoff cable comes with a 90-minute warranty.

LOL

And if you pay $99 bucks a year, they'll double it to 3 hours.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Each knockoff cable comes with a 90-minute warranty.

Even 90 minutes sounds generous for a Chinese p.o.s.
post #15 of 25

The issue in many countries is not the price but the availability. Sync/Power cables are still not available in Hong Kong for example. What most people need is just a charging cable anyway, you only need the sync bit if you aren't using Wi-Fi and only when connected to your main iTunes Mac/PC.

 

I have a 'copy' cable from China. It works fine to charge my phone in the office, it does do data sync but I don't use it for that.

post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Bring on the $2 knockoffs! I had about a dozen 30-pin cables laying around the house (bedside, at my desk, kitchen island, living room, briefcase, messenger bag, both cars, etc.) that I bought cheap on eBay. None ever broke and they were very reliable (even the 6' cable I bought to use at my nightstand).
Can't wait to stock back up, because I refuse to pay $20 a cable for my iPhone 5 and my wife's iPhone 5.

Damn straight, I have the same plan, Need a new bedside speaker, when will the damn 3d party things come out.

Hope there Is a mini iPad, another spare cable 1tongue.gif
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash_beezy View Post

Of my dozen cheap 30 pin cables, every single one was broken. Simply from constant use.
If you can afford a iPhone, don't think we should really bitch about a $20 cable. It won't break the bank.

Every single one broke? Seriously? We're not talking rocket science, we're talking a pretty mature design (a 9-year old cable design) for the 30-pin cable. I've even got some knockoffs with the locking "push-in" side buttons that still work.

Regardless, I think it's wasteful and foolish for me to spend as much on 10 or 12 cables as I do on just one device. It's a flippin' cable; this is Monster Cable territory.

I doubt you guys pay $20 for a 6' HDMI cable today or paid $20 for a 6' USB A-B printer cable back in the day before wireless connectivity. Monoprice is my usual source for my cabling needs and they are STELLAR. They currently sell 30-pin cables for $3.25.

If they would sell Lightning cables on the cheap, I'd have no fear buying from them.
post #18 of 25

Um, I'm just going to buy the Apple-branded adapter. They DO make the best adapters.

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Every single one broke? Seriously? We're not talking rocket science, we're talking a pretty mature design (a 9-year old cable design) for the 30-pin cable. I've even got some knockoffs with the locking "push-in" side buttons that still work.
Regardless, I think it's wasteful and foolish for me to spend as much on 10 or 12 cables as I do on just one device. It's a flippin' cable; this is Monster Cable territory.
I doubt you guys pay $20 for a 6' HDMI cable today or paid $20 for a 6' USB A-B printer cable back in the day before wireless connectivity. Monoprice is my usual source for my cabling needs and they are STELLAR. They currently sell 30-pin cables for $3.25.
If they would sell Lightning cables on the cheap, I'd have no fear buying from them.

Yep, every single one. The apple ones broke too, but I simply set up a Apple warranty exchange and bam, next morning a fresh cable arrives at my doorstep for free..so why bother with knock offs? Knock off HDMI cables? Don't buy those either, (like my amazon basic/mediabridge branded cables.

Piece of mind is cheaper then taking a risk and frying my iphone which I paid full price this year..you can be cheap though no ones stopping you..that's the only reason the knock off industry exist because people cheap out..but complain later if something goes wrong and ends up killing the device..
White Nexus 7 8GB
Black & Slate iPhone 5 32GB AT&T
Reply
White Nexus 7 8GB
Black & Slate iPhone 5 32GB AT&T
Reply
post #20 of 25
"contains a chip that uses a one-pin serial connection for a fixed indentification number" Ha, if they are all the same number an update could simply blacklist a million + cables instantly.
post #21 of 25
I just repeat my comment again that many thousands of people haunted the Apple support pages all sharing their woes about MBPs that 'tingled'. The problem was knock off MBP power supplies sold through Amazon which didn't support Apple's advanced earthing technology.
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
Reply
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
Reply
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianlfl View Post

Um, I'm just going to buy the Apple-branded adapter. They DO make the best adapters.

Yep, notice the rubber sheath at both ends are much longer than the knock-offs. That is where they fail usually. If the wires short out who knows what could happen. Perhaps burn down your house.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #23 of 25
So much for that cable manufacturer guy who is ripping people off with sleeved standard cables, and selling them for $80 saying there is no way the Chinese can release this before xmas. That guy really promoted his business talking nonsense.
post #24 of 25

Generic lightning cable is as GOOD if not better as the original. Every 100 pcs sold, 1-2 pcs is defective, normal. No different from the Apple original lightning USB defective issue.

Defective is not going to short out your iphone!!! It defective "means", the Male pin is to large to fit your Female sucket :)  .

If the Generic is not as good or better than the original, China will not going to waste their times to mass produce it. Logic of supply, demand and business sense.

 

Ask yourself, will you make a product that no one buy if it not good?

post #25 of 25
Originally Posted by kitt202070 View Post
No different from the Apple original lightning USB defective issue.

 

What was that?


Defective is not going to short out your iphone!!!

 

Is that a personal guarantee?


It defective "means", the Male pin is to large to fit your Female sucker :).

 

So it's equally useless. That's not acceptable. It sounds a lot more like an electrical problem could happen than a physical size foul-up, since these are done in dies.


Ask yourself, will you make a product that no one buy if it not good?

 

Don't ask me, ask Microsoft about the Surface.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › First fully-functional unauthorized Lightning cable reportedly slips out of China