Apple’s Lightning Authentication Has Been Cracked

That was fast! MacRumors reports that Apple’s Lightning authentication has been cracked, which should allow accessory manufacturers to launch cheaper third-party Lightning connector cables.

Apple’s iPhone 5, 5th generation iPod touch and 7th generation iPod nano that were unveiled in September came with a new dock connector dubbed Lightning, which replaced the 30-pin dock connector that was first launched in 2003.

Apple also launched two adapters for the new Lightning connector, which will allows users to connect their iPhone 5, 5th generation iPod touch and 7th generation iPod nano to 30-pin accessories.

Apple currently holds the exclusive right to make and sell such adapters, as it is yet to authorize any third-party manufacturing facilities to produce Lightning-equipped products. Strangely, Apple also doesn’t offer a dock for the iPhone 5.

MacRumors now reports that Chinese firm iPhone5mod has introduced the first iPhone 5 dock, which works with the Lightning connector cable.

iPhone5mod is actually offering the dock in two parts: a lighted USB-to-Lightning cable and a white dock similar to Apple’s previous-generation docks but which accepts a Lightning cable in the rear and offers a Lightning connector for interfacing with the device. Each part is offered individually for $19.90, or together for $39.90. 

iPhone5mod are apparently using the original Lightning controller chips from Apple’s supplier in the iPhone 5 dock, but claim that they’ve also obtained cracked chips that bypass Apple’s authentication functions.

We spoke with representatives of iPhone5mod, who informed us that they are currently using original Lightning controller chips from Apple’s supplier, ensuring proper functionality. The chips serve to assist with dynamic assignment of pin functionalities in the connector and converting signals received through the connector for output at the other end of the cable. 

iPhone5mod did, however, inform us that they have also obtained cracked chips that bypass Apple’s authentication functions and that the cracked chips are working just as well as the original chips, suggesting that we may soon see a significant increase in unauthorized third-party Lightning accessories. 

They’ve also published a video, which demonstrates the iPhone 5 dock used to to charge and sync an iPhone 5 to a Mac.

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  • Alan

    I want one, but will probably wait for some positive reviews before buying one.

  • IP5

    everybody needs an adapter to connect iPhone 5 to some older electronics (alarm clocks, a doc for my home theater reciever, etc..) i’m waiting for one of those.

  • Tim

    While I really like Apple’s products, I sometimes get frustrated when they try to control things like this. Why can’t they open it up to accessory manufacturers. If they can make reliable cables then so be it, if they can’t people will buy cables made by Apple. We don’t really need Apple to baby sit us.

    • IP5

      they not baby sitting us, these cables is a big source of revenue, the $20 cable most likely cost them under $1

  • Farfelu

    I would be on the safe side and wait for Apple to produce one. The connector been smaller i am sure it would be more fragile. the size of the phone would affect the stability on the dock. it might use both the connector and the jack phone.

  • filthyjason

    it’s 10 cents cheaper to buy them individually

    • Andrew11z

      10 cents more…

      • damniel81

        Andrew, according to the article, it is $19.90 each or $39.90 for both. Simple math, $19.90 x 2 = $39.80 which is $0.10 less than $39.90. Try again.

        • Andrew11z

          Yes, but most deals are better when you buy more (not worse) so $19.90 each or $39.90 for both is 10 cents more not less. So if you buy 1 twice it’s 10 cents less but it read ‘or two for $39.90′ which is more….

          • damniel81

            I’m not sure what you’re trying to argue. It should be cheaper to buy both together, but in this case it’s not. Your reply to filthyjason was incorrect. He said it was 10 cents cheaper to buy them individually which is correct. You corrected his statement by saying 10 cents more… so your statement is therefore incorrect. That’s all.

          • Andrew11z

            Thanks! You’re awesome!

  • Howard

    The video doesn’t seem to show the syncing icon in the status bar on the iPhone. When I’m syncing my (admittedly older) iPhone 4, there is a circular icon to the right of the wifi signal.

    • unvaluablespace

      it does. if you look when he is installing the twitter app, you can clearly see the syncing icon spinning next to the Wifi. I think what you may be getting confused on is that its not always showing, though he wasnt always transferring data in the video either. you can see when he gets the phone call, that in the background it shows the blurry itunes, but you can see its just the apple logo in the status, indicating that itunes was no longer transferring anything, hence why the syncing icon was no longer showing. :)

      • unvaluablespace

        oh and also, notice the difference in speeds with the movement on the light. it could just be flickering slower when he gets the call to indicate that the phone is charging. :)

  • T

    In the news report, third party hack chip in lightning connector catches iPhone 5 on fire… Stay Away at all cost, lol

  • Bluedream