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.
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