If you bought yourself an iPhone 5, and are looking for a cheap, third-party lightning adapter to save a couple of pounds, you might want to hold off. There’s an authenticator chip in the official adapters, and third-party adapters probably won’t work without it.
Peter from Double Helix Cables found the obnoxious little chip while dissecting one of the new, official Lighting cables. Positioned between the cord’s USB contact and the power pin on the Lightning plug, the chip seems to be the key to keeping Lighting cables and adapters proprietary.
“There is basically no way [third-party adapters] are functional cables,” Peter told Apple Insider. “You can’t just build a Lightning cable by making something with the same shape and connectivity.” That means that all those third-party connectors out there will fit the ports on your devices, sure, but they probably aren’t going to actually work. What looks like a £10, £20, or £30 could very well wind up being a waste, so if you’re in a hurry, official adapters are probably the best bet. If you aren’t, you’ll want to sit tight until someone figures out how to fake those chips. [Apple Insider]