Apple apparently has gone to great length and expense to ensure consumers purchase only its version of the Lightning connector. The connector, which debuted with the iPhone 5, includes a chip which serves to prevent third-party alternatives, according to a report.

The authentication chip is located between the cable’s V+ contact and power pin, according to Double Helix Cables, which took the new cable apart, sharing its results with AppleInsider. Because the chip appears only in Apple’s Lightening cable, third-party alternatives offered by places like won’t work, the company claims…

There’s basically no way those are functional cables,” Peter of Double Helix told the Mac news site today. “The chip has to be there, and it is directly in the signal path of the V+ wire.

The teardown results come the same day an analyst said the new Lighting cable costs $3.50 to make, a 775 percent increase over the $0.40 to make the previous 30-pin USB connector. The different plug will require all iPhone 5 users to purchase an adapter to work with older accessories. KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo said the authentication chip could be designed to prevent third-party manufacture of the cable without paying Apple royalties.

Third-party cable makers have complained that Apple initially will be the sole source for the Lightning cable. Apple is charging $29 for a direct-plug adapter and $39 for the cable version.

The high cost of the cable may not be all due to the Texas Instruments-made authentication chip. Kuo told investors Friday that two of the four data pins on the Lightning appear to be reserved for unknown peripherals. There has been some suggestion Apple is considering support for USB 3.0 devices.

  • jose castro

    wow so people who tried making lighting cords are screwed and probably lost a lot of money… that sucks but in a way that what you get for not waiting to see the final product….

  • F… Apple, they think all apple users are millionairs.

    • MagicDrumSticks

      They will fall soon enough. You can rip off stupid customers for so long.

    • Cheaper phones exist for a reason.

      • yea thats what i thought about PCs and Androids until i switched to a Mac and an Iphone 5 this year. You get what you pay for buddy. 🙂 Apple products are the equivalent of buying a Ferrari as PCs and Androids are the equivalent of buying a Honda or Toyota.

      • Reggie

        Spoken like a true iSheep!!! Keep drinking that Kool Aid, while the rest of use on PC’s and Androids continue to dominate the tech world!

      • Spoken like a true Micro$oft fan!

    • so you expected the same 30 pin technology to last forever? it was almost 10 years old. out with old, in with the new. I, for one, welcome this new dock. I’m not a millionaire but i can afford $100 to replace my 4 year old iPod clock radio dock.

      • Reggie

        Why not do what EVERY OTHER gadget maker does and use the STANDARD interface called USB!!! Apple snubs its nose at this standard ‘cuz they know iSheep like you will pay them 10x more for stupid cable!!

      • Because this connector does much more than just USB. My Android phone and tablet can’t do a lot of things with their USB ports. So yes it’s convenient, but not as useful.

    • oh and if apple enables 3rd party cables people will complain that there 500+$ phone short circuited due to a crappy charger

      • Reggie

        it’s fine to sell an OEM charger, but why use this non-standard interface and charge people 10x more?!?! All of my gadgets utilize the standard USB interface and I can use one cable among all of them!! Figure ‘cuz Apple knows iSheep like you are willing to pay them 10x more for a stupid cable!!

  • Timothy Do

    “You live by our products, you live by our rules…”

    • ….until you get your hands on a jailbreak! 😀

  • SoCoMagNuM


  • I’m sure we will see 3rd Party lightning connectors from licensed manufacturers like Griffin and the others.

    And, once they get their versions on the street, supply & demand competition will drive down the price of these connectors. But for now, yes we get “SCREWED”!!!

    Its like you said in the article, it is to prevent rip-offs by those manufacturers that don’t want to pay for the royalty. 🙂

    • Reggie

      That’s why there was an agreements among most gadget manufacturers to standardize on one interface – USB!! Funny that one manufacturer snubbed that agreement – Apple!! Cuz they know that their iSheep are willing to pay them 10x more for a stupid cable!!

      • Hello!!!! Wake up there is a reason they scrapped the USB and it hasn’t got any thing to do with being able to charge more, simply yet again they have come up with some thing that’s better and if my memory serves me correctly apple were one of the first to implement USB in the pc world while all other brands dragged there feet with the change over from the old crappy serial ports pfft once again apple leads the way

  • So it is really really that lightning is smart. Smart enough to sure profit with apple

  • The chip has very little to do with keeping someone else from making cables. The “authentication” chip has been around since Apple added digital video out. The chip in the lighting cables is due to the fact that the pinout changes depending on what the cable is being used for. eg… Video output uses different pins then does syncing… The chip tells the iphone or ipod what the cable is designed to do and the ios device than configures what pins do what. The chip is also part of the security that content producers have required that is similar to HDCP on HDMI and DVI just as it was on the video cables.

    The chips are available to licensed developers just as the video “authentication” chips have been.

    • Finally some one with the facts instead of a crappy conspiracy theory from someone wanting to just take a shot at apple for leading the way.

  • bigfodee

    So long as the knockoff cables can charge my phone I would not care,
    The phone comes with a “good” cable, I would just need extras for charging away from home (one in my car, one in wifes car, one at work and a spare).
    I would need another $160 in cables (or $120 in adapters) to do that. No thanks. Just one of several reasons I am not getting an iPhone 5 for a few more months.

  • Hyr3m

    Apple – made for douchebags, by douchebags

  • Has no one else noted that for all of these crazy pinout wonderfullness that apple makes the other end on 95% of their cables is . . . USB . . .