A little while back it was revealed that iOS 7 had a built in detection system to warn users when they were using unauthorized Lightning cables. It’s a handy feature for those worried about the quality of non-licensed accessories. However, it’s equally annoying for those who aren’t bothered, and just want to get something that works without spending a fortune.
One company, iPhone5mod, has discovered a way around the authorization process and demonstrates its effect in the video below:
While this is surely good news to those who want the cheap products without Apple’s approval, it’s bad news for those who want to know that they’re using the official products. It’s also bad news for Apple who work hard to ensure a standard of quality around any accessories designed to interact with its devices.
Thankfully, we’re sure Apple will find away to patch the problem and ensure that non-licensed products are exposed to users.
That said, the fact the companies are willing to go through this trouble to make sure their stuff works is a sure sign that Apple needs to change its licensing process. Creating Lightning compatible accessories is a nightmare, especially for the smaller companies.
I ran in to one such company at a recent trade show who’d successfully created and licensed a 30-pin connector compatible accessory. It was a unique accessory without competition. 3-4 months before me speaking with them, they’d applied and ordered the Lightning connectors needed to adapt the accessory for the newer products. However, Apple’s policies and procedures are so strict they still hadn’t heard anything back.
As an example, a company would – for instance – order 10,000 Lightning connectors for a specific purpose. Let’s say for charging cables. The third party has to inform Apple what it’s using those 10,000 for, and cannot use any of those 10,000 for anything else. If the same company wants to create a Lightning connected music dock, it has to order another lot of Lightning connectors specifically for that dock even if it has some of the original order left. If any of them are used for a non-confirmed purpose, Apple strikes them off the list of ‘made for iPhone/iPad/iPod’ manufacturers.
As an update, the company I spoke to is still waiting to launch the iPhone 5/iPad mini/4 compatible version of its accessory more than 6 months later.
This kind of control by Apple is something that’s prevalent in all aspects of its business. App developers have strict guidelines similar to the accessory firms. And it’s not something which is likely to change. But, wouldn’t it be great if Accessory makers could just order the parts from Apple and do what they want to with them? Surely, as long as it’s the official connector Apple should be happy?
It’s because this process takes so long that the market is full of non-authorized versions, which can be offered a lot cheaper than the official stuff.
What are your thoughts on this? Does Apple make it too hard for companies and developers to earn the right to be in its ‘circle of trust?