Apple’s Lightning Authentication Chip Was Just Cracked

Apple’s Lightning Authentication Chip Was Just Cracked

Will we see third-party Lightning accessories before Christmas?

The picture above is purported to show third party non-approved authentication chips for Apple’s new Lightning USB cables. They’re pretty much a huge deal for anyone who plans to make iPhone 5 accessories or cables, because now that the Lightning authentication chip has been cracked, manufacturers can create cheaper accessories because they won’t have to pay Apple a fee to use the official Lightning chip.

Apple included authentication chips in the design of the Lightning connector to keep un-safe third-party manufacturers from making accessories. Chinese hackers have been quick to clone the authentication chip though as it’s only been on the market for one month.

According to BGR there are multiple versions of these unofficial Lightning authentication chips and connectors floating around China. That’s great for anyone trying to make cheaper Lightning accessories, but a huge bummer for Apple’s MFI partners who have already paid the licensing fees to make legitimate accessories.

Apple is expected to finalize guidelines with their MFI partners by November 7th in order to get legitimate Lightning accessories into consumers hands before the Holiday season.

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  • Jonathan Ober

    probably just going to end up being craptastic accessories and stuff and then they will get sued and shut down.

  • Atienne

    Here come the fandroids…. THATS NOT COPYING… THATS INNOVATION.

    And you wonder why apple sues.

  • mr_bee

    I like how the whole article is sort of in favour of the illegal assholes in China making these cables and against the whole idea of Apple protecting their iP. Then they basically call those doing it the legal way suckers or something.

    Don’t you people have any sense of shame or right/wrong at all? You could at least *pretend* that you think stealing Apple’s IP is a bad thing, you know, just so the kids reading this might be encouraged to be law abiding citizens when they grow up.

  • dfslioch

    @ mr_bee “Apple protecting their IP” – In this instance what IP is being protected exactly? ???£€ has created a gatekeeper chip to restrict access to their walled garden. They will tell us all that it is to maintain high standards where it is really to suppress competition and ensure they get cash for every accessory that their partners make.
    Maybe as Jonathan Ober says they will be craptastic accessories. Well, why not allow the market to work it out? In the long run, if you allow competition, the successful accessory manufacturers will be the ones that produce the best products. By protecting their business partners from competition ???£€ are eroding the need to produce better products and charging their customers extra for the privilege.
    (b.t.w. – not a fandroid; I love Apple kit; I just don’t like their business practices, especially their behaviour towards independent developers and their customers.)

  • Atienne

    @ mr_bee “Apple protecting their IP” – In this instance what IP is being protected exactly? ???£€ has created a gatekeeper chip to restrict access to their walled garden. They will tell us all that it is to maintain high standards where it is really to suppress competition and ensure they get cash for every accessory that their partners make.
    Maybe as Jonathan Ober says they will be craptastic accessories. Well, why not allow the market to work it out? In the long run, if you allow competition, the successful accessory manufacturers will be the ones that produce the best products. By protecting their business partners from competition ???£€ are eroding the need to produce better products and charging their customers extra for the privilege.
    (b.t.w. – not a fandroid; I love Apple kit; I just don’t like their business practices, especially their behaviour towards independent developers and their customers.)

    WTF?

    If I disassembled an INTEL or AMD chip, built a copy, and painted it blue… YOU would be calling me a thief.

    I have worked and lived in Asia. Trust me when I say they have no issues with IP theft. I ordered dell servers and when I got there they had installed bootleg copies of Window on them. And this was OUR factory. I had to start all over again.

    Dont tell me this is apple lining it’s pockets. If I come up with something REGARDLESS OF MY MOTIVES and sell it, that my business. You want one, buy it at the price I set, or NOT. I don’t care. It’s mine, and you dont get to copy it because YOU think my price is too high.

    I too would sue your ass off.

    And isn’t it apple getting involved with the LODSYS suit to protect developers? I think thats a pretty admirable attitude towards it’s developers.

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Social Media Editor. Hailing from Roswell, New Mexico, but now spending his days in Phoenix, Arizona, he wastes most of his time eating burritos and reading Spanish romance novels. Twitter: @bst3r.

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