Knockoffs of Apple's Lightning connector may be on their way

Unauthorized accessory makers have figured out how to make connectors that work with Apple's new standard by cracking Lightning authentication chips, MacRumors reports. (Can lawsuits be far behind?)

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
Apple's new Lightning connector for its iPhone 5 and new iPod Touch. Apple
Apple has retained strict control over Lightning connector accessories, but some companies have reportedly cracked the authorization chips required to make generic versions of the adapter.

Apple last month revealed the iPhone 5 uses a new cable, dubbed Lightning, that replaces the 30-pin connector Apple has used since 2003. Since introducing the new connector, Apple has limited which companies can make accessories for the new Lightning interface, and it reportedly hasn't yet approved any new facilities to build the device.

Apple reportedly installed an authorization chip in its adapters. But MacRumors is reporting that companies are making cracked chips that bypass Apple's authentication functions. One Lightning connector maker, iPhone5mod, told the site it's currently using original chips from Apple's supplier, but cracked chips it has obtained are working just as well as the original chips.

That means we may soon see a big bump in unauthorized Lightning accessories.

We reached out to Apple for comment and will update if we receive any information.