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Apple Lightning connectors use authentication, source says
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MacNN Staff
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Oct 2, 2012, 10:52 AM
 
Apple's new Lightning connector format uses an authenticator chip to block unauthorized accessories, CNN Money says it has learned. The part is mentioned by one source said to have "knowledge of Apple's manufacturing," as well the owner of Double Helix Cables, who tore apart the new connector shortly after the iPhone 5 launch and discovered a chip in the path of the Lightning's power wire. The positioning of the chip is said to make Lightning "much more complex" than Apple's older 30-pin format.

"Chinese manufacturers are currently working to clone this new connector -- but they cannot do it with the same ease and low cost as before, I don't think," says the Double Helix owner. "Unlicensed knockoffs are going to happen eventually, but now there is even more of a reason to just use Apple's cable -- the circuitry is much more complex now and so there is a lot more to go wrong," he adds. There are numerous unlicensed 30-pin cables and accessories for sale online, often at a fraction of the cost of what Apple charges. Some attempts at cloned Lightning accessories are on sites like Amazon and eBay, but are listed as presale items or unavailable. The Double Helix owner speculates that cloned Lightning connectors will cost between $3 and $8 wholesale, whereas 30-pin dock cables are currently worth about 30 cents. Those prices would still be well below Apple's, which start at $19 for a simple Lightning-to-USB cable.
     
Banned
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Oct 2, 2012, 12:41 PM
 
OBEY crApple, your new Gatekeeper.
     
Clinically Insane
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Oct 2, 2012, 12:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by blahblahbber View Post

OBEY crApple, your new Gatekeeper.
So are you interested in actual conversation about stuff, or just in getting little pot shots in designed to rile people up?
     
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Oct 2, 2012, 01:57 PM
 
Not news, and shame on Macnn for citing such an uninformed source. It's already been established that the Lightning port dynamically reassigns pins based on connector orientation and what the pins are being used for - audio, data, video etc. Multiple uses are one of the reasons it's not just a simple USB+HDMI cable, and why a chip is needed in the cable to manage the pins.
     
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Oct 2, 2012, 03:30 PM
 
Cable DRM means bye, bye, Apple. I've enjoyed several iPhones now but your addition of DRM in your cable, and your refusal to use a standard cable (and then to not even put USB 3.0 on the other end or your Lightning cable) means I can't be your customer anymore.

And those who say that it's just for the dynamic reassignment -- wake up! That may be the first use but it won't stop there. They're going to want DRM just like HDMI for video, and we'll all be worse off for it.
     
Mac Enthusiast
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Oct 2, 2012, 03:58 PM
 
I'm glad they've done this.

My daughter's iPhone was bricked by plugging in to a cheap cable recently. Apple replaced the iPhone without question but, even though it was never stated, everyone knew it was that cheap $h1T charger cable (they could have asked about the charger and refused to replace, but they didn't)

I'm pretty sure Apple don't want to replace iPhones left right and centre so this is a smart move

(read these articles about iPhone chargers to see why this is a smart move http://www.arcfn.com/2012/03/inside-cheap-phone-charger-and-why-you.html and
http://www.arcfn.com/2012/05/apple-iphone-charger-teardown-quality.html)
     
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Oct 2, 2012, 07:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by jmonty12 View Post
Cable DRM means bye, bye, Apple. I've enjoyed several iPhones now but your addition of DRM in your cable, and your refusal to use a standard cable (and then to not even put USB 3.0 on the other end or your Lightning cable) means I can't be your customer anymore.
And those who say that it's just for the dynamic reassignment -- wake up! That may be the first use but it won't stop there. They're going to want DRM just like HDMI for video, and we'll all be worse off for it.
The flash memory inside mobile phones today is slower than USB2. So why do you demand USB 3?. It'll get you nothing.

And in the future, when flash memory is faster, the lightning connector's assignable pins means Apple can make a USB 3 lightning cable.

And you are telling us to wake up? Oh please. Your willful ignorance is embarrassing.
     
   
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