Here’s What a Purported 3rd-Party Lightning USB Cable Looks Like [PIC]


It was discovered in late September Apple’s Lightning USB cable housed authentication security measures to prevent third party manufacturers from reproducing the cable. In early October, claims quickly emerged third parties had already successfully bypassed Lightning security via direct access to unauthorized cracked chips. A teardown by Chipworks confirmed the existence of an unpublished Texas Instruments chip, suspected of providing security for the Lighting cable.

Now, the first images of what appear to a third party party Lightning cable has made its way out of China, according to AppleInsider. Their source shares images of the purported cable, which looks identical to the original Lightning cable except for a couple minor differences. As seen below, the knock off cable is has a larger USB connector piece and the sleeve where the Lightning end is housed is wider and longer compared to the original cable (red dots):

The cable source notes the build quality is decent, comparable to an engineering sample. There was no way to verify the cable was authentic or working, but the source claimed via images the knock off cable was able to connect with a MacBook Pro, recognize an iPhone 5 and transfer images.

Apple’s Lightning cable was first leaked in late August by a Chinese vendor prior to the iPhone 5 launch. The new standard is 80 percent smaller than the former 30-pin cable, which was widely used by iPods and iOS devices for over a decade. Currently, Apple offers its Lightning to USB cable for $21 CDN, with availability online set for 1-2 weeks.

If the purported cable noted above is indeed true and exactly as described, we could see a thriving third party market emerge for a number of Lightning accessories. Are you ready to jump on third party Lightning cables?


  • Biggy604

    Here comes the cheap lightening cables we in Vancouver will find all over next years Richmond Night Market lol

  • aRhyno

    in other news, apple sends an automatic update to all iphone 5’s a new encryption code and rendured all 3rd party accessories useless… lol

  • Vince Turnone

    Does Apple not have a patent on the cable or at least the tech in the cable?

  • ThatGuy

    Im not saying that is unlikely but how would they do that without making their own cables useless too?

  • Cshudson

    I’m really only interested in a lightning to VGA/DVI cable. I really don’t care who makes it, as long as I see it soon…
    It should have been realeased with the iPhone 🙁

  • aRhyno

    No clue, just seems like it would be something apple would do. they knew 3rd parties would figure it out, so why spend the extra in making them chipped in the first place?

  • ordered a third partu adapter from old cable to new lightning. let you know how it works, half the price of apples. I also have the apple one, and it works perfectly, even works with docking devices.