Detailed: How Apple Controls Its Proprietary Lightning Connectors

It has been widely known Apple’s new smaller Lightning connector contains authentication chips within it, but now we have some further details on how the company maintains strict controls over partners within its Made for iPhone (MFi) program. The New York Times shares details from an interview with accessory maker Mophie that sheds some light on the process.

Essentially, when manufacturers order Lightning connector components from Apple, they contain serial numbers and authentication chips to communicate with iOS devices. When a MFi partner submits an accessory to Apple for review, the latter is able to verify those particular connectors were purchased from Apple by that partner.

“If you took this apart and put it in another product and Apple got a hold of it, they’d be able to see it’s from Mophie’s batch of Lightning connectors,” said Ross Howe, vice president of marketing for Mophie.

The chip inside the Lightning connector can be reverse engineered — copied by another company — but it probably would not work as well as one that came from Apple, Mr. Howe said. Apple could also theoretically issue software updates that would disable Lightning products that did not use its chips, he said.

The last line could be troubling for non-certified third party Lightning accessory makers should Apple flick the switch and disable unofficial accessories.

Back in December, Chipworks detailed how the Lightning cable talks to your iPhone and concluded no authentication sequences take place, which is the opposite of what Mophie shares. Many have suspected the unlisted TIBQ2025 component to be the source of security within the Lightning cable. Even with this security in place, numerous third-party accessory makers have already successfully released unofficial Lightning accessories, such as docks and cables, to offset the limited supply of official accessories, thus lowering prices as well.

Just recently, Amazon.com released their own MFi certified Lightning cables, (Amazon.ca has third party cables priced at $6) and so did Monoprice as well, with both companies offering prices cheaper than Apple.

Detailed: How Apple Controls Its Proprietary Lightning Connectors is a post from: iPhone in Canada Blog – Canada's #1 iPhone Resource

10 Responses to “Detailed: How Apple Controls Its Proprietary Lightning Connectors”

  1. Gary Ng Says:

    It has been widely known Apple’s new smaller Lightning connector contains authentication chips within it, but now we have some further details on how the company maintains strict controls over partners within its Made for iPhone (MFi) program. The New York Times shares details from an interview with accessory maker Mophie that sheds some light on the process.

    Essentially, when manufacturers order Lightning connector components from Apple, they contain serial numbers and authentication chips to communicate with iOS devices. When a MFi partner submits an accessory to Apple for review, the latter is able to verify those particular connectors were purchased from Apple by that partner.

    “If you took this apart and put it in another product and Apple got a hold of it, they’d be able to see it’s from Mophie’s batch of Lightning connectors,” said Ross Howe, vice president of marketing for Mophie.

    The chip inside the Lightning connector can be reverse engineered — copied by another company — but it probably would not work as well as one that came from Apple, Mr. Howe said. Apple could also theoretically issue software updates that would disable Lightning products that did not use its chips, he said.

    The last line could be troubling for non-certified third party Lightning accessory makers should Apple flick the switch and disable unofficial accessories.

    Back in December, Chipworks detailed how the Lightning cable talks to your iPhone and concluded no authentication sequences take place, which is the opposite of what Mophie shares. Many have suspected the unlisted TIBQ2025 component to be the source of security within the Lightning cable. Even with this security in place, numerous third-party accessory makers have already successfully released unofficial Lightning accessories, such as docks and cables, to offset the limited supply of official accessories, thus lowering prices as well.

    Just recently, Amazon.com released their own MFi certified Lightning cables, (Amazon.ca has third party cables priced at $6) and so did Monoprice as well, with both companies offering prices cheaper than Apple.

    Detailed: How Apple Controls Its Proprietary Lightning Connectors is a post from: iPhone in Canada Blog – Canada's #1 iPhone Resource

  2. Gary Ng Says:

    ZAGG is currently offering a 50% off promotion on its Bluetooth keyboards for the iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4 and iPad mini. If you’ve been contemplating a Bluetooth keyboard for your iPad, this is your chance.

    Screen Shot 2013 02 14 at 1 59 48 PM

    Here’s are the Bluetooth keyboard models on sale:

    If you’re looking for a keyboard solution for your iPad, you can’t go wrong with ZAGG Bluetooth keyboards. Numerous iterations have made them easy to use with solid feedback on the keys and the build quality has been great from ones I’ve tested.

    Click here to visit ZAGG.com while supplies last.

     

    ZAGG iPad Keyboard Sale: 50% Off While Supplies Last is a post from: iPhone in Canada Blog – Canada's #1 iPhone Resource

  3. Gary Ng Says:

    WIND Mobile has announced a new promotion to lure over customers from other wireless carriers by offering up to $300 worth of credits based on the monthly plan you choose to sign up with:

    • $20 per month, Unlimited talk and text will receive $100 in savings.
    • $30 per month unlimited data, talk and text will receive $200 in savings
    • $40 per month plan, including international, unlimited data, talk and text will receive $300
    Byop

    The credits received can go towards handsets or monthly services or add-ons (you can bring your own device too).

    “We wanted to put the choice back in the customers hands” said Mirko Rugarli, Chief Marketing Officer, WIND Mobile,  “We feel that those who bring their own phone to our network or buy handsets outright, should get the same benefits and discounts as those who purchase devices on WINDtab. Everyone should be given the opportunity to use the discounts we offer for the services they really want to use, which is why we’re letting our customers pick what they would like to save on, for themselves.”

    Just recently WIND Mobile introduced revised monthly plans, offering three options priced at $20, $30 and $40. If you’re unhappy with your current provider and want to switch to WIND Mobile in your area, this just might be the chance (especially for students), although you won’t be able to use an iPhone on the AWS network.

    WIND Mobile Offers Up to $300 Credit for New Customers Switching Over is a post from: iPhone in Canada Blog – Canada's #1 iPhone Resource

  4. István Fekete Says:

    The former co-CEO of BlackBerry, Jim Balsillie, who has been replaced by Thorsten Heins who now leads the newly rebranded company, has sold off his entire stake in the company.

    Screen Shot 2013-02-14 at 11.41.57 PM
    As CNET reports, Balsillie was one of the largest individual shareholders in the company, owning roughly 5.1% or 26.8 million share of stock. Now, according to a regulatory filing with the SEC today he owns zero stock in the company he helped build.

    Last March, Balsillie and fellow former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis stepped down, as they were criticized over the way then Research in Motion was being run and its drop in its share price. Their place was taken by then COO Thorsten Heins who has led the development of the recently launched BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system and, as you may already know, the rebound of BlackBerry’s share price.

    Balsillie had cut all ties with BlackBerry, except his stock – but, as the filing show, this one has been cut as well, and the move comes at a worse time for the struggling Canadian manufacturer. We will soon find out exactly how Heins’ work has really helped the company to rebound, as the BlackBerry Z10 is about to enter into the US market.

    Ex-BlackBerry Co-CEO Cuts Ties, Dumps 27 Million Shares of Stock is a post from: iPhone in Canada Blog – Canada's #1 iPhone Resource

  5. Gary Ng Says:

    The Bump team has announced an update to the web version of their service to allow users to ‘bump’ files from their computer (Mac or PC) to iPhone or any other iOS device:

    Today we are updating the web version of Bump at http://bu.mp to be universally compatible with Bump on iOS and Android.  This means that starting today, everything you can bump between phones now also works both to and from any computer in the world.  Photos, videos, contacts, files…everything.  There’s no setup at all — just go to http://bu.mp on your computer, open Bump on your phone, and bump the spacebar key!  Bump is now your unlimited USB flash drive that is always with you!

    Moving files from your computer to iPhone is extremely simple. Visit http://bu.mp on your computer, launch Bump on your iPhone then bump the spacebar.

    Screen Shot 2013 02 14 at 12 57 41 PM

    Once connected you’ll be able to select a file from your computer to send to your iPhone.

    Screen Shot 2013 02 14 at 1 15 45 PM

    Screen Shot 2013 02 14 at 1 16 08 PM

    Bump on the iPhone will confirm you have received a file from your Mac. You can access your received files within the “Files” tab on the main screen of Bump.

    Screen Shot 2013 02 14 at 1 23 18 PM

    This is a pretty awesome service and it works exactly as described. Kudos to Bump for making this awesome feature. Let us know how this update to Bump on the web works for you.

    Update: The updated Bump iOS app has been released to support this update. Try it again with this app if you’re running into problems.

    Bump Web Update Turns your iPhone into USB Thumb Drive [PICS] is a post from: iPhone in Canada Blog – Canada's #1 iPhone Resource

  6. Gary Ng Says:

    Earlier today it was revealed a passcode flaw in iOS 6.1 allowed anyone to bypass its security and allow anyone to access contacts, photos and voicemails. AllThingsD received a comment from Apple regarding the exploit:

    “Apple takes user security very seriously” spokeswoman Trudy Muller told AllThingsD. “We are aware of this issue, and will deliver a fix in a future software update.”

    This current exploit isn’t the only major issue with iOS 6.1 at the moment, as numerous users are dealing with a Microsoft Exchange bug that causes excess activity resulting in decreased system battery life.

    Apple Aware of iOS 6.1 Passcode Flaw, Says Fix Coming in Update is a post from: iPhone in Canada Blog – Canada's #1 iPhone Resource

  7. István Fekete Says:

    iOS and Android accounted for a combined 91.1% of global smartphone shipments during the holiday quarter of 2012 according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

    Screen Shot 2013-02-14 at 9.19.17 PM
    As a Gartner study had already pointed out, Android is the unquestionable king of the global smartphone market. The IDC data sheds light on Android smartphone shipments during the 13-week holiday period. The IDC data shows Android manufacturers have shipped a total of 159.8 million units, accounting for 70.1% of all smartphone shipments, while Apple’s 47.8 million units pushed the company’s market share for the fourth quarter to 21% in terms of mobile OS share.

    “The dominance of Android and Apple reached a new watermark in the fourth quarter,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. “Android boasted a broad selection of smartphones, and an equally deep list of smartphone vendor partners. Finding an Android smartphone for nearly any budget, taste, size, and price was all but guaranteed during 2012. As a result, Android was rewarded with market-beating growth.”

    “Likewise, demand for Apple’s iPhone 5 kept iOS out in front and in the hands of many smartphone users,” added Llamas. “At the same time, lower prices on the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S brought iOS within reach of more users and sustained volume success of older models. Even with the Apple Maps debacle, iPhone owners were not deterred from purchasing new iPhones.”

    Apple and Android manufacturers shipped a combined 207.6 million units worldwide, up 70.2% from the 122 million units shipped a year ago. For the calendar year 2012, iOS and Android accounted for a combined 87.6% of the 722.4 million smartphones shipped across the globe, up from 494.5 million units shipped the previous year.
    Screen Shot 2013-02-14 at 9.19.28 PM

    When compared to the same quarter a year ago, Android handset shipments have grown a tremendous 88%, while iOS has recorded a 29.2% growth, which is impressive.

    iOS and Android Account for 91% of Global Smartphone Marketshare is a post from: iPhone in Canada Blog – Canada's #1 iPhone Resource

  8. Gary Ng Says:

    wunderlist 2

    Wunderkinder has announced Wunderlist 2 has been updated to become a universal app that now supports the iPad and iPad mini.

    Wunderlist 2 for iPad is one super sized update. We’ve now shifted to an all-native universal app for both the iPad and iPhone. What does this mean exactly? Well, we’ve done a lot of work under the hood! Test it out. Once you’ve logged in, you’ll first notice the subtle but distinct boost in speed and quantum leap in performance – not to mention the silky smooth transitions as you glide through your lists. What’s more, this work will allow us to provide you with updates and new features on a faster and more regular basis, so buckle up!

    The update also brings improved syncing and the ability to email lists to contacts (even Facebook) right from the app, along with some bug fixes. Wunderlist 2 hasn’t been spared the details when it comes to design as the company stresses details such as the “paper texture and pictograms in the the sidebar, to the sheen of the ribbon when you star an item.”

    Retina

    Do note this app does not replace Wunderlist HD in the App Store. The team recommends syncing your data with an account in Wunderlist HD, then transitioning over to the new universal Wunderlist 2 by logging in with the same details.

    I use Wunderlist 2 because it’s a fantastic free app that allows quick access to my to-do lists from my iPhone, iPad, Mac or the web. It’s a simple app that works and all my items are synced via the cloud.

    Click here to download Wunderlist 2, it’s free.

    Wunderlist 2 Now a Universal App, Updated with iPad Support is a post from: iPhone in Canada Blog – Canada's #1 iPhone Resource

  9. Gary Ng Says:

    New iOS email app Mailbox is currently suffering from downtime, as users have been faced with the following message when they attempt to check email:

    “Having trouble connecting. Please, try again soon.”

    IMG 5521 1

    As we stated in our review of Mailbox, the app is a fresh look at how to conquer your inbox. The company issued a creative way to rollout the app by using a creative yet controversial reservations system, which they explained was the only way to scale the app to users–without suffering downtime.

    Mailbox has just posted an update to the situation saying they are currently experiencing intermittent issues and have paused reservations in the meantime.

    We’re currently seeing intermittent issues with our servers syncing mail. We’ve paused filling reservations so that we can focus on a fix.

    If you’re currently using Mailbox, you’re most likely seeing a message that says “Having trouble connecting, please try again soon.” Don’t worry, any messages that you take action on or any new emails you create should not be lost. Once we have resolved the issue your Mailbox will simply update and process all actions you’ve taken inside the app.

    Is Mailbox working for you (that is if you’re not waiting for it still)?

    Mailbox Suffering Downtime, Says “Having Trouble Connecting” is a post from: iPhone in Canada Blog – Canada's #1 iPhone Resource

  10. Gary Ng Says:

    TELUS has announced today its 4G LTE network is now live in Vegreville, part of a $100,000 investment in the town, located east of Edmonton. The company says it has 4G LTE covered in 80 per cent of Alberta with further expansion coming this year.

    “TELUS is committed to providing the best service to our customers, and that includes offering people in Vegreville the fastest wireless technology available in the world today,” said Derek Keturakis, TELUS general manager Alberta North.

    The coverage map below hasn’t been updated to reflect this announcement for Vegreville but the dark green areas show LTE coverage. Let us know how those LTE speeds are!

    Screen Shot 2013 02 14 at 10 35 54 AM

    TELUS Launches 4G LTE Network in Vegreville is a post from: iPhone in Canada Blog – Canada's #1 iPhone Resource

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