Remember when Apple first introduced its Lightning cable last year? Sure, it was dual-sided and compact, but all of a sudden your old 30-pin accessories were useless, and the specter of an in-cable authentication chip had us seriously concerned. Early tear-downs revealed the presence of that chip in official Apple Lightning cables, which could let system software verify whether or not any Lightning accessory was graced by Apple’s blessings. We were all ready to see Apple use this tool to lock-down control over the iPhone accessory market… but that didn’t come to pass. Perhaps we just hadn’t been waiting long enough, as it appears that iOS 7 will finally start making a stink about non-Apple-approved Lightning gear.
Plug your unofficial Lightning cable into an iPhone 5 running the new iOS 7 beta, and you’ll be presented with a message from Apple, pointing out the presence of a non-certified cable and ominously warning about the potential for problems.
This is interesting, because Apple clearly could prevent the platform from even interacting with such non-certified cables, yet is taking a softer stance – sure, you have to read the borderline condescending message, but in the end your no-name cheap Lightning cable will work just fine.
We still have to wonder: is this as far as Apple intends to take things, or are we building up to something here? Free-and-clear in iOS 6, warnings in iOS 7, and maybe the final lock-out in iOS 8?