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Apple Starts Blocking Unauthorized Lightning Cables With iOS 7 663

Posted by timothy
from the there-there's-smoke dept.
beltsbear writes "Your formerly working clone Lightning cable could stop working with the latest iOS update. Previously the beta version allowed these cables to charge with a warning message but the final release actually stops many cables from working. Apples Lightning connector system is locked with authentication chips that can verify if a cable is authorized by Apple. Many users with clone cables are now without the ability to charge their iPhones."
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Apple Starts Blocking Unauthorized Lightning Cables With iOS 7

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  • Dear Apple (Score:5, Informative)

    by vadim_t (324782) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @07:06PM (#44914109) Homepage

    Thanks for reminding me of another reason why I don't buy your products

  • Confused as usual. (Score:5, Informative)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @07:07PM (#44914117) Homepage

    TFA talks about Apple''s desire not to have it's customers electrocute themselves with dodgy, cheap chargers.

    TFA (and TFS) talk about the evils of unlicensed cables.

    I can get where Apple might come down on the dodgy chargers. At least some had clearances that allowed mains voltages to jump to the charging cable and thence to the unfortunate Apple Fritter. I don't see where the cable itself is involved. I'm thinking that if you put mains voltage on the Official Lightning Cable (TM) it's going to happily conduct the electricity to whatever it's connected to. Or do official cables have a ground fault interrupt circuit in them?

  • by alen (225700) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @07:08PM (#44914125)

    We won't care

  • Re:Load of crock (Score:5, Informative)

    by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @07:11PM (#44914151)

    "cheap doesn't always equal better!!!"

    I guess that's why Apple makes their products in China...........

  • FUD article (Score:1, Informative)

    by drcagn (715012) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @07:20PM (#44914217) Homepage

    Third party/unauthorized cables are still working just fine, they are just popping up the warning. You can see the warning image in the article. It clearly doesn't say anything about blocking the connection, just that it may not work reliably, which is true.

    This is just a crap website trying to stir up drama for hits. It goes ever farther by coming up with ridiculous speculation that Apple "may" block more stuff in the future.

  • Re:In other news (Score:5, Informative)

    by Stumbles (602007) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @07:22PM (#44914231)
    Its called; broken by design.
  • Re:Load of crock (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 21, 2013 @07:22PM (#44914233)

    Except it is the charger not the cable that can be traded. Moron.

  • Re:Load of crock (Score:4, Informative)

    by mysidia (191772) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @07:49PM (#44914363)

    This is one of those problem the free market is meant to solve by itself - people are meant to stop buying iphones in response. Me, I'm perfectly happy with my Samsung Galaxy.

    The problem is: people already bought their iphones.

    The software update will "brick their device", by making it incapable of being charged, by the power adapter that worked fine before.

    This is likely to result in a class action suit against Apple; potentially with a demand to repair/replace hardware that was rendered inoperable.

    (E.g. Replace customers' iPhones with new ones, that will work with all their charging cables, or pay the cost of replacement for all the 3rd party charging cables consumers had purchased, PLUS the price difference for any new cables the customer would have purchased from a 3rd party)

  • by Knightman (142928) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @08:12PM (#44914479)

    Regarding low quality goods being produced in china, the majority of these goods come into existence this way:
    1. Company calls up a Chinese manufacturer to get a price quote for a doodad they designed.
    2. Chinese manufacturer replies with a quote.
    3. Company asks if they can make it cheaper.
    4. Chinese manufacturer says yes
    5. Company asks how cheap
    6. Chinese manufacturer quotes a bottom price
    7. Company says great, you got a deal.
    8. Market is flooded with cheap and crappy doodads.

    There is often a disconnect between western companies and Chinese manufacturers regarding how they negotiate and do business which leads to the above situation. Then there is those who really just want to manufacture really cheap doodads to make a quick buck.

  • Re:In other news (Score:5, Informative)

    by Stumbles (602007) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @08:18PM (#44914497)
    True. But Apple has shinier baubles so in their mind that's OK. Not to take anything away from Microsoft. They earned their evil tag.
  • Re:In other news (Score:5, Informative)

    by arbiter1 (1204146) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @08:22PM (#44914513)
    i was just thinkin if MS did this crap, how long would it be til DOJ federal investigation kicked off.
  • by cas2000 (148703) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @08:23PM (#44914525)

    > There is also the fact that a micro-USB charging port is
    > mandatory in the EU on mobile phones, just so that people
    > do not have to buy the expensive ones from the phone vendor.

    and so that they don't have to buy a new charger when they get a new phone; and so that they don't need multiple different and separate chargers (home,work,car,etc) for each device (phone, tablet,etc); and, most importantly, so that they don't have to throw away the old chargers. a big part of the reason for the law was to reduce electronic waste.

    most phone/tablet/gadget manufacturers responded by making mini-usb or micro-usb charging ports standard in every country. not apple. they met the requirement in europe with an adaptor while keeping their high-priced proprietary (and disposable) charger everywhere else.

    it's also clear that apple's designs deliberately encourage waste and disposal rather than re-use and repair. iphones and ipads are cheaper / more convenient to replace than repair if the screen or glass is cracked.

    more obviously, their all-in-one imacs with a beautiful high-resolution 27" or 30" screen built-in are intended to be disposed of rather than upgraded. the screen is probably the single most expensive component in the unit, and the one that has the most potential longevity (i.e. it's less likely to need replacing/upgrading as technology improves). but you can't upgrade the CPU in the imac. you're supposed to discard the entire thing in a year or two and buy a new one. a huge amount of unneccessary waste.

  • by RedBear (207369) <redbear@@@redbearnet...com> on Saturday September 21, 2013 @08:52PM (#44914653) Homepage

    Damn it, Slashdot, I come here for anti-FUD, not FUD. This is just about the worst confused, untrue FUD article I've ever seen posted here.

    Apple are unequivocally NOT "blocking" the use of unauthorized third-party Lightning cables. The summary/title is absolutely 100% bullshit. The article says, and I quote: "Apple will probably shut the door on the usage of [unauthorized third-party Lightning cables] in a future update." (Emphasis mine.) Which is of course a completely baseless supposition by the article author in order to get outrage-clicks. The article also clearly includes a screenshot of the actual informative warning message that pops up, which simply says, "This cable or accessory is not certified and may not work reliably with this iPhone." With a single button that says "Dismiss".

    The article also throws third-party USB chargers into the mix which has absolutely nothing to do with the cables, just adding to the confusion. Apple has no way of blocking the use of any kind of USB charger, so it doesn't even belong in this discussion. After the death and coma incidents in China they instituted a trade-in program to garner public good will, where you can buy an Apple charger at half price if you bring in a third-party USB charger, but that is neither here nor there with regard to the Lightning cables.

    Look, I will be quite happy to come here and spew hatred and vitriol at Apple along with the rest of you anytime Apple ever actually does something as monumentally stupid as trying to block unauthorized Lightning cables from charging your iPhones. But until then is it really too much to ask that we only spew hatred and vitriol about things that are actually true? This is like spewing hatred at Microsoft because somebody posted a summary claiming Microsoft has kept Elvis imprisoned in their basement in Redmond for the last 40 years, while linking to an article that claims nothing of the sort. *insert WTF face here*

    Really, Slashdot? Is this audience really that easy to manipulate into getting outraged by total factless bullshit that isn't even supported by the only link in the summary? Are the editors really not capable of reading a couple of short paragraphs before posting obvious bullshit summaries? (Yeah, I know, must be new around here.)

    Slashdot, today, I am disappoint. >:-|

  • Re:In other news (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 21, 2013 @09:02PM (#44914679)

    Uhh why not just use an established standard like say ooohh micro USB??

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @09:29PM (#44914821) Journal

    Apple are unequivocally NOT "blocking" the use of unauthorized third-party Lightning cables. The summary/title is absolutely 100% bullshit. The article says, and I quote: "Apple will probably shut the door on the usage of [unauthorized third-party Lightning cables] in a future update."

    It is you that has the reading/comprehension problem. From the first paragraph of the article:

    In a move possibly triggered by stories of deadly electrical shocks coming from Apple iPhone and Apple iPad units, the Cupertino based tech giant is blocking the use of unauthorized third party Lightning cables with iOS 7.

    See that: "is blocking"?. Not probably.
    Where you quote "probably", you have taken that sentence out of context. Let's put it back in:

    There is word going around that some unauthorized cables with cracked chips have been working with iOS 7. Apple will probably shut the door on the usage of the latter in a future update.

    "the latter" clearly refers to "some unauthorized cables with cracked chips".

    You take the warning "may not work reliably" and extrapolate this to mean: "will probably work". According to this page [iphonehacks.com] you cannot actually dismiss the dialog and get the cable to work. Users actually report that cables that used to work with beta releases of IOS7 do not work with the the production release of IOS7. Of course it is possible that with millions of cables in use, some just happened to fail between IOS7 beta and IOS production releases, nevertheless, your claims are not supported by any reports.

    So, get off the Apple fanboi train and learn to read.

  • Re: In other news (Score:3, Informative)

    by Garridan (597129) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @09:44PM (#44914893)
    The problem is the mini wall chargers. Cheap ones are made of cheap materials. If your transformer shorts at the wrong point (likely, since it's made on the cheap), you deliver 120VAC to your device that's built to handle 5VDC. And then whoever is holding on to the metal case gets a shock. And to anybody who's like "but why is the case connected to anything anyway?" It probably wasn't. But when you dump 120V into a 5V hole, and the phone is milimeters thin, an air gap just doesn't offer that much resistance.
  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Saturday September 21, 2013 @10:12PM (#44915039) Homepage Journal

    Of course not. They don't want you to know that they will exclude your computer from future OS upgrades in roughly 3 years.

    ~former Apple repair tech, specialized in OSX installations (did you know certain G3 and G4 iBooks/PowerBooks would only accept 10.2.3 or 10.2.8 and NOTHING ELSE? Bet you the school districts that had these laptops wouldn't have bought them if they knew that!)

  • Re:FUD article (Score:4, Informative)

    by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Saturday September 21, 2013 @10:32PM (#44915133) Journal
    People are being electrocuted by cheaper malfunctioning CHARGERS. The cable will happily transmit whatever voltage and current you ask it to, regardless of whether or not it's able to authenticate itself to the phone beforehand.
  • Re:In other news (Score:5, Informative)

    by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Saturday September 21, 2013 @10:56PM (#44915225)

    http://www.righto.com/2012/10/a-dozen-usb-chargers-in-lab-apple-is.html [righto.com]

    That guy tore a part a bunch of USB chargers and rated them based on the materials inside. The 'cheap' ones are indeed VERY cheap and dangerous.

    This counterfeit charger has so much noise in the output that I had to double the scale on the left to get it to fit. Note the very large spikes in the output (yellow). ... This counterfeit charger shows extremely poor regulation, as shown by the very wide yellow line. It's hard to fit a voltage-current curve to this picture. The amount of power supplied by this charger seems almost random.

  • Re:In other news (Score:5, Informative)

    by upuv (1201447) on Sunday September 22, 2013 @01:40AM (#44915877) Journal

    Finally a reader that realized that the electrocution from the charger has nothing do with the cables. The charger and the cable are separate things.

    People the cable is a separate thing from the charger. If you used one of the dodgy chargers with a genuine apple cable you are still as likely to be electrocuted.

    Other readers please stop spreading the FUD that it's about safety. It's not.

    And guess what Lightning is not an international standard. It is a variation on a standard. And Apple can do anything they want with it. It's called a proprietary connector. There is nothing at all illegal about what Apple is doing. It's entirely self defeating.

    Is it greedy? Yes
    Does it have anything to do with safety? No
    Is Apple doing the right thing for it's customers? No

  • Re:In other news (Score:5, Informative)

    by sjames (1099) on Sunday September 22, 2013 @02:44AM (#44916079) Homepage

    That is an example of getting electrocuted by the bad charger, not by the cable. The official cable plugged into that same bad charger will still result in electrocution.

  • Re: In other news (Score:5, Informative)

    by futuresheep (531366) on Sunday September 22, 2013 @03:08AM (#44916157) Journal

    Just by charging them. She has two cables in the house, one connected to her laptop, and one connected to a wall charger in the bedroom. Both pretty much stay in the charging device full time, the only change is when the iphone is plugged in and unplugged. Nothing any more stressful happens to the cables other than your standard plug and unplug like you'd do with a USB cable.

    The 30 pin cables were great, the new cables are crap.

  • Re:In other news (Score:5, Informative)

    by grahammm (9083) <graham@gmurray.org.uk> on Sunday September 22, 2013 @06:57AM (#44916819)

    IBM did try this with the PS/2 range which used the proprietary Micro-channel slots instead of ISA. This was a spectacular flop.

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