Shortly after Apple introduced its new Lightning connector alongside the launch of the iPhone 5, we learned that the circuitry inside Lightning cables included an authentication chip, apparently to stop companies from producing cheap, unlicensed Lightning accessories. Well, it didn’t take long for manufacturers to break Apple’s security, and we’ve since seen the arrival of just the sort of cheap knock-off Lightning cables Apple was trying to prevent. Could Amazon have just gotten on Apple’s bad side by trying to sell such a product itself? That’s what we’re wondering, following the quick arrival and just-as-quick disappearance of the Amazon Basics Lightning cable.
If you’re not familiar with it, Amazon Basics is a series of Amazon-branded electronics accessories. Recently, Amazon began selling a Basics version of a Lightning-to-USB cable for four dollars less than the official Apple version. All of a sudden, though, Amazon’s listing has vanished from its US site. Little ads for the Amazon Basics version still pepper the listings of other Lightning cables, but the links are all dead.
Seeing as the cable’s product page has been so abruptly and uncleanly yanked off the site, there’s a possibility that Amazon caught some flack from Apple for selling a repackaged version of one of those knock-off cables. Now, Amazon certainly lets third-party sellers list such unauthorized cables, but in fulfilling those orders itself, and doing so with full Amazon branding, it may have crossed the line.
For now, we’re waiting to see if the cable gets similarly unlisted from the international versions of Amazon, and if Amazon removes all these ads now pointing to a dead page. Neither Apple nor Amazon has yet to comment on what’s transpired.