Apple’s new Lightning cables for the iPhone 5 feature chips embedded in the accessory. The exact purpose of the chips is been speculated that they could be used to make it impossible for third-party accessory makers to build Lightning cables without Apple’s authorization. According to Chinese tech media latest report, some experience Chinese manufacturers have succeeded in cloning the Lightning cables. Before the iPhone 5 announcement, domestic accessories makers have already received the technical specifications of Apple’s new connector interface and started the ‘cracking’ process. Only 3 to 4 companies have managed to complete the hack and these third-party cable with reverse engineer, has no problem on charging and data transferring …
An industry expect said the Chinese manufacturers are no stranger on this kind of authenticator chip. A few years back, office equipment manufacturers such as Epson, Hewlett-Packard began to add in ‘anti-counterfeit chips’ in their ink-cartridge, which used to prevent the domestic enterprises to produce compatible products for its printer. Chinese cartridges companies have been dealing with the original manufacturers for many years on this. The security chip technology used by Apple might not be so ‘powerful’ enough to allow professional firms in China unable to crack down the chip. In the meantime, there are not much Chinese suppliers have the ability to hack the chip and provide solution on making accessories for iPhone 5. At the moment, the production cost for those successful clone cables are rather high. The wholesale price will cost 60-80 Chinese yuan (US$9.40-12.60).
Currently, Alibaba.com, which is popular for cheap iPhone accessories is full of inexpensive iPhone 5 Lightning cable. We would like to warn new iPhone 5 owners to avoid buying these cheap cables from China or any other source as they are not yet in possession of any real product. For now, fully functioning third-party cables are very difficult to find one in China and they are limited in the market. We will have to wait for more Chinese manufacturers to crack the Apple’s authenticator chip in order to pull down the production cost for mass produce. We beleive Apple will upgrade their iOS to confront the hacking if many Chinese manufacturers are able to make iPhone 5’s accessories without authorization. We will be getting a third-party Lightning cable sooner or later to confirm the compatibility, so stay tune.
SOURCE: Tencent Digital (Chinese translated)
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