If you just got your iPhone 5 and now looking for a cheap, third-party lightning adapter, you might need to wait. There’s an authenticator chip in the genuine adapters, and third-party adapters probably won’t work without this chip.
In a report by folks at Double Helix Cables, they took apart the Lightning connector and found inside what appear to be authenticator chip. This chip is located between the V+ contact of the USB and the power pin on the new Lightning plug.
This accessory now has brains and not just an average connector/adapter/cable.
Peter, who took apart the connector said:
This could mean that it’s less nefarious than a authentication system, that it’s just for power regulation – but it looks like a serious micro controller of some sort, it doesn’t look like a garden variety voltage regulator that I’ve ever seen. It has a mirror-finish shiny metal exterior with lasered numbers on it, it does not look like a generic black IC. If it really costs $3.50 for a lightning plug, then it could be something quite high tech. Whatever it is, it’s expensive and highly miniaturized. And the cable isn’t going to function without it, that I can tell at this point.
While the Lightning cable reportedly costs Apple $3.50 to make, some third-party resellers are already offering Lightning connectors at lower prices. However, with this chip present, you may want to wait first as you don’t wanna end up with a non working third-party connector, adapter or cable.
Currently, the $19.00 part is showing as having a 2-3 week shipping delay on the Apple Store website, as it was reported that Apple is now working with a different supplier to produce these, and since the supplier is relatively new, the production is a little bit slower.
Oh Apple, the things you do! Now let’s wait for some brilliant hackers or Chinese entrepreneurs to come up with something…
Images via Gizmodo, Apple