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Home / News / Apple iPhone 5 unofficial Lightning adapters won’t work

Apple iPhone 5 unofficial Lightning adapters won’t work

Apple has planted a mystery chip in the Lightning cable meaning only its official adapters work fully. Sorry, third-party versions

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Apple, the richest company in the world, might not mind third party accessory retailers making some money from its iPhone 5, not least as it takes a cut of all ‘Made for iPhone’ accessories. But in the case of the Lightning adapter, Apple is keeping them strictly in-house… with a little help from a mystery chip.

The chip was discovered in the Lightning cable by Double Helix Cables, which says third-party adapters just won’t perform. The laser-etched chip is custom made by Apple to act as an authentication device – going a little further to explain the steep £25 Lightning adapter cost. The chip may also be used as a means to regulate power, not solely for authentication, but either way it means third-party versions just won’t cut it.

It may be Apple’s right to keep exclusivity on its new proprietary connector, but this won’t help it win the popularity war after initial gripes about the cost of the Lightning adapter, the iOS 6 Apple Maps outcry and the scratch-prone body of Apple’s new iPhone 5.

[DoubleHelixCable via TechRadar]

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Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home