After learning what Apple intended to charge for official Lightning cables and adapters, we started wondering when someone would come around to release some cheap third-party versions of the same gear. It wasn’t long before we saw manufacturers start listing such products for sale. Now that the new iPhone 5s have arrived, though, and users are getting their hands on Apple’s Lightning cables, it’s come to light that third-party replacements may be a trickier business than we first thought, as Apple’s included what appears to be a lockout chip.
While third-party Lightning cables may carry all the signals needed to power and communicate with your phone, without Apple’s authentication chip, the phone will presumably ignore anything plugged into it. This move should let Apple charge whatever it wants for Lightning cables, effectively killing the market for any kind of competition.
Granted, that will let Apple maintain a certain quality of product, and ensure that Lightning connectors meet its physical specifications, but it could be seen as a bit of a heavy-handed gesture to maintain control over the iPhone ecosystem.