Hidden “feature” in Apple Lighting cable

One of the major changes in the new iPhone 5 is the new 8 pin “Lighting” cable instead of the 30 pin cable used in all iPhone and iPad devices previously.

Now the general purpose computer that you can make phone calls on (i.e. the iPhone 5) comes with a Lighting cable, but odds are you are going to need at least one spare.  No problem if you don’t mind paying Apple $19 for a spare cable.  If that is a bit pricy for you, you may have to wait.

According to one cable manufacture that has done a tear down of a Lighting cable, Apple has put an authentication chip in the cable (which is doing D2A conversion as well).  So beware of any third party “Lighting compatible” cables for a while.  I’m betting this can be cracked, but it may be a few months before its done and third party cables start hitting the market.

If you are laying out the cash for the Darth Vader phone, part with another $19 and get a spare cable.  You’ll need it.  I’ve been considering a dual 1.0/2.1 amp car charger anyway, so can I could charge both my Nexus 7 and an iPhone at the same time.  I could charge my iPhone straight from the car’s USB port, but the Sync system treats its as an MP3 player and tries to index it, which screws with the Bluetooth streaming (are you paying attention Ford?), so it’s easier to use a car charger  plugged into a power point (the former cigarette lighter socket).    The care would probably do the same thing to the Nexus 7, but I don’t keep much music on that (lots of music on the iPhone anyway).

Ok, back to the cable, you can get a 30 pin to Lighting adapter.  Apple sells one for $29.  Again, off the bat, I’m not sure I would trust any third party adapter for  a while.  Not until some early adopters spring for them and start sharing their success/failure rate.


6 Responses

  1. Argh, I hate proprietary cables with a vengeance. I’m fond of my Samsung Galaxy 7, but it also uses a proprietary cable.

    I should start shopping with that in mind. Some day, I will be able to travel with one cable, a USB Micro.

    Of course, I’ll need to carry more than one. So I guess it balances out.

    • I’m down to two cables. Micro USB & iPhone. The $19 Apple cable is PitA because it’s $19.

      • I still need the Mini USB for cameras, an old-school iPod cable, Micro USB for the phone, and now the Samsung tablet cable.

        The Samsung can stay home if I’m bringing my netbook, and of course I don’t need the Mini USB unless I’ve got the netbook.

        I’m giving some thought to dropping the iPod entirely and replacing it with the Android phone.

  2. On unrelated news, I was playing music on iTunes while my Motorola Android phone was connected to the computer. I tried to disconnect my phone, and was told a process was using it. I shut down iTunes, and the computer allowed me to remove the phone.

    Makes you wonder why iTunes was connecting to my Android phone.

    • I’m not surprised by this. Most music software wants to control *all* your music. I briefly had a rhapsody desktop app installed that wanted to scan my system for any and all music files.

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