Apple has ability to disable 3rd party Lightning cables with software

3rd Party Lightning Adapter

You may remember right after the iPhone 5 announcement, and the introduction of the new Lightning port, there was a report that the Lightning cables used in Apple’s devices would require a specialized chip (which was replicated shortly after). Not too long after people showed discontent with Apple, it was announced that 3rd party cables would be able to exist and would work with new devices with replicated chips. If any of you were quick to jump onto the bandwagon of cheap 3rd party cables, you may be upset to learn that Apple still has ultimate power over these  non-Apple made accessories.

The New York Times recently reported that Apple’s new Lightning system allows Apple to have a broader control over charging accessories. In the article, Ross Howe of Morphie, an accessory manufacturer, describes how Apple has control over accessory manufacturers.

Apple could also theoretically issue software updates that would disable Lightning products that did not use its chips, he said.“That’s one thing Apple is good at: controlling the user experience from end to end,” Mr. Howe said. “If you’re buying something in an Apple store, it’s gone through all this rigorous testing.”

If Mr. Howe is correct, any Lightning accessory not made by Apple is a software update away from being disabled by the Cupertino company. Many consumers may be upset to learn that Apple has control over which accessories they can use, and the thought that Apple can simply decide to render accessories obsolete.

What do you think about this news? Are you upset with the control Apple has over accessory manufacturers? Are you surprised, or is this all just something you expected from Apple and its strict quality control? Let us know in the comments section!

Source: 9 to 5 Mac, NYT

Image via: 9 to 5 Mac

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  • jabombardier

    I don’t care one but. I am a firm believer in genuine parts and accessories. That said, if I need a cable or any accessories, I go right back to apple or a retailer that sells apple products. I don’t mind the strict quality control. It is the reason why and iPhone will far less likely crap out like an Android smartphone based on my experience.

  • griffkoupal

    @jabombardier I usually buy Apple products as well, but I still like the ability to buy 3rd party chargers and things like docks. Does it bother you that you may not be able to buy anything other than Apple, or would you rather stick strictly to Apple accessories?

  • jabombardier

    @griffkoupal because of past poor experiences, it doesn’t bother me to buy only apple accessories when it comes to cables and docs. I know they will last long where as I went through 5 aftermarket cables and still have the original one that came with my 1st gen iPd Touch.

  • MsVeryStupid

    The idea that ANY company would try to control the ACCESSORIES for its products is archaic and completely against the user experience. When you purchase a product, you expect that it is YOUR product! You can sit with it on your head, use it with only the company’s products or do whatever you want to do with it. It is YOUR product that you paid YOUR money for! I have Apple phones, Android phones and Windows phones because I develop software for them. Apple does not make the cables themselves. They contract with a factory overseas to make them. That same factory can and does make 3rd party lightning cables. It would be a blatant lie to say that Apple somehow tests something more or does something additional because the cable comes in an Apple box! The truth is that the same factory cranks out all of the cables. So why would Apple say that or try to control the cables? PROFIT! They make FAR more off of you if you purchase the 19.99 cable from them than if you get the 4.95 cable, that does the SAME thing, off of eBay. So to all of those people who don’t want to use anything that doesn’t come in an Apple box, roll with that. However, just know that Apple purchases those items from the SAME places your 3rd party cable sellers do. You aren’t buying better, you are simply paying more for the same thing..

  • jabombardier

    @MsVeryStupid I agree with you. But if you were in my shoes with using other cables from other companies to save a few dollars then to have them fail. I still have a 5 year old iPod cable that came with my first gen iPod touch. I guess there is a quality control agreement with the manufacturer of the cables. So because if my experience, I will buy anything in an apple box.