The next-generation USB connector for mobile devices will be smaller to facilitate slimmer smartphone and tablet designs, but also reversible, similar to the connector on Apple’s Lightning cables. According to the USB 3.0 Promoter Group, the development of the USB Type-C connector has begun. The new connector is built on existing USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 technologies and will be similar in size to the existing USB 2.0 Micro-B connector pictured above. More →
Apple’s quest to keep cheap knockoff Lightning cables off the market may have just been dealt a fatal blow. MacRumors reports that Chinese firm iPhone5Mod “claims to have cracked Apple’s iOS 7 authentication and is now offering new cables compatible with the upcoming operating system.” What makes this particularly intriguing is that iPhone5Mod’s Cyril Chang tells MacRumors that Apple won’t be able to work around its hardware crack unless it fundamentally changes Lightning cables’ hardware. We first heard about about iPhone5Mod last year when the company released its Flash Lightning Dock that reverse engineered the Lightning cable’s hardware and opened the doors for unauthorized vendors to sell their own cheaper versions of the cables.
Congratulations, Belkin — you’re the first third-party manufacturer to release official products for Apple’s (AAPL) Lightning connector port! Belkin on Monday released two Lightning-related products: A Lightning car charger to help iPhone fans keep their devices charged while driving and charge-and-sync dock that keeps the iPhone charged at home. Both products can be pre-ordered now for $29.99 each and are slated to ship in mid-November. Apple this month has scheduled a special seminar for third-party manufacturers that want to make Lightning-compatible products and more Lightning accessories will hit the market later this month after Apple officially certifies more OEMs.
Still waiting for Apple (AAPL) to stock up on more $19 Lightning cables? Earlier in the month, iPhone5Mod unveiled the first third-party Lightning cable and dock for $40. The same company announced today it will begin shipping third-party Lightning cables for half the price Apple is charging: $9.90 plus $4 shipping to U.S.. The China-made Lightning cables should have a cracked clone of the authentification chip that Apple embedded into its own cables. iPhone5Mod’s cables ship on November 3rd with up to 10 to 14 days for shipping and delivery. If you do choose to buy one of these cables, do keep in mind that the company is probably not going to be responsible for any malfunction or damage it may do to your iPhone 5. Apple is said to be preparing to brief third-party vendors on producing licensed Lightning cables in early November. A video of the $9.90 Lightning cable follows below.
Good news for shady third-party manufacturers: The security chip inside Apple’s (AAPL) Lightning cable may not be so tough to crack after all. A new analysis from the reverse engineering specialists at Chipworks shows that the Lightning does have a special chip that’s designed to implement security measures and thus thwart manufacturers’ ability to create cheap knockoffs. But as far as security chips go, the Lightning’s isn’t all that special as Chipworks found that its “security does not come close to the herculean approaches that are used in… today’s printer cartridges, but resembles the level of effort that cartridge manufacturers used to implement in the olden days.” More →
It was only a matter of time before somebody managed to crack Apple’s (AAPL) Lightning cable. Apple’s new charging cable came under fire after it was discovered an authentification chip was embedded inside of it that prevented third-parties from easily making clones. A Chinese company claims it has successfully reverse engineered Apple’s cable with a new dock called the Flash Lightning Dock. The wiring on the third-party Lightning dock even glows when its charging or syncing, with the lights pulsing faster and slower depending on how much battery is left in an iPhone 5. iPhone5Mod is currently selling the dock and Lightning cable in a set for $40. A demonstration video follows below.
Apple’s (AAPL) new Lightning cable isn’t easily cloned because it contains a special microchip that’s difficult to reverse-engineer. And according to iLounge, Apple has now changed its policies to only allow Apple-approved facilities to manufacture third-party Lightning connector accessories. iLounge’s source says Apple is planning a special seminar to take place in China this fall that interested parties must attend before they can begin producing and releasing Lightning accessories starting in November under the careful watch of Apple.
A quick survey of BGR readers last month showed that many people aren’t very happy about having to pay Apple (AAPL) $29 for an adapter that will allow their iPhone 5 to work with accessories featuring the older 30-pin dock port. But AppleInsider reports that Apple may be working on a more palatable solution to the adapter problem, as the company was granted “a patent covering a universal adapter for portable media players that affords, in one embodiment, the transmission of wireless data to any accessory.” More →
It appears iPhone 5 users looking to pick up a spare Lightning cable will have no choice but to pony up the $19 for one made by Apple (AAPL). Unlike the old 30-pin connector, it has been discovered by Double Helix Cables and AppleInsider that Apple’s new smaller cable has a special authentication chip embedded inside of it that prevents third-parties from duplicating it and making generic clones. In simple terms: don’t even bother picking up a cheaper knockoff Lightning cable because it probably won’t work.