The first fully functional clone of Apple's latest innovation, the Lightning cable, has hit the web! MIC Gadget broke the news by reporting the existence of the first third-party Lightning cable. It markets for $.99 more than the original one that you can find in the Apple Store, but it has some interesting visual improvement in that it glows as soon as you plug it in.
As Peter Bradstock of Double Helix Cables, first reported, Apple's Lightning cable features integrated authentication chips, which makes cloning very difficult, but as the iPhone5mod product shows, not impossible. The Cupertino company's latest innovation was presented as an all digital connector featuring an adaptive interface that uses the specific signals each accessory requires.
But since curiosity is at the core of mankind, Peter took the cable apart and found that Apple goes way beyond that to make this happen. During his testing he found that while the USB power connections are symmetrical on each side of the plug (and the pins on the Lightning are numbered from one to eight on each side) the connections in Lightning are asymmetrical. This made him think the dynamic Lightning pin assignment is performed by a chip included on the iPhone 5.
In addition, a teardown of the Lightning connector revealed an authentication chip located between the V+ contact of the USB and the power pin of the new Lightning plug.
This however, could cause quite a headache for third-party manufacturers, but the first glowing Apple Lightning cable is now available along with an iPhone 5 dock, with two as a package priced at $39.9. As of writing this article the site was down either because of huge traffic, or some other reason, but those iPhone 5 owners who already got used to using their iPhone 4S or 4 dock it will be a great accessory to have.
However, considering that the Lightning cable costs about $3.50 to manufacture, the clone seems a bit pricey. And by the way it ships in up to 20 days while the original ship in up to 14 days. Yet it doesn't glow, and there is no iPhone 5 dock available in the Apple Store (at least in the online store). It's your call. Will you buy the illuminated Apple Lightning cable? [Image credit: Double Helix Cables]Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback