It looks like it'll be hard to find real, authentic, Lightning cables for your iPhone 5 online from third-party supplies.
According to Gizmodo, almost none of the third party sellers online have a Lightning cable for the iPhone 5.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Apple has a authenticity chip installed in the new iPhone 5 to make sure that all Lightning connectors and adapters would be produced by Apple, or someone that was permitted to by Apple. This ensures that Apple won't let shady, third-party, suppliers from making their brand new cables for the iPhone 5.
Peter from Double Helix Cables wrote about the new chip, saying:
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 microcontroller 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.
This also means that if you break your cable, or if you need an adapter for your iPhone accessory, then you could only buy them through Apple or an approved vendor.
But, curiously, a bunch of Chinese supplies from Amazon, eBay, and many other Internet whole-sellers and online retailers are actually selling the Lightning cable and are letting customers order them...even though they don't have them.
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According to Gizmodo, Peter from Double Helix cables has done some digging and been in touch with these suppliers. Here's what he said:
I'm talking to a few suppliers via chat on Alibaba right now, I also sent out a flood of inquiries to every manufacturer claiming to have Lightning cables. Long story short is that the Chinese really don't have these cables built yet. I don't doubt that each factory is working on "cloning" the chips as this conversation will show you. The 3-4 week ship time that Alibaba suppliers are claiming is realistically more like 2 months. All these ebayers and amazon sellers not only don't have product in hand, but their suppliers don't either. People should be very surprised if this cable can be cloned by Christmas. This is a serious undertaking and the Chinese know it...
He even posted a chat transcript where he asked upfront whether they were selling cables, even though they aren't completely sure about the authorization chip (the transcript has been posted above).
This just shows that you can't really trust third party supplies, especially with companies like Apple working hard to prevent cheap knockoffs of their products. While many customers might be pissed, especially because the Lightning adapter is $30 from Apple, and the cable itself ten dollars more, and finding replacement cables (or another cable for your workplace) is going to be a little pricey.
Upset about the Lightning cables? Let us know in the comments section below!