Nobody likes to pay more than they have to, which is why Apple’s recent push with iOS 8
to disable non-certified cables has been poorly received. Some consumers use cheaper, third party cables to charge and sync their devices. Apple’s move may seem like a money grab to monopolize the accessories market, but there are legitimate concerns about some third-party cables and chargers damaging the U2 IC chip
and possibly injuring or killing the user.
The Lightning cable was introduced in 2012 to replace the 30 pin Dock Connector
cable. This allowed for the new iPhone to be smaller and lighter than previous generations. The lightning cable has 8 pins, or rather 8 electrical points of contact that allow current to flow from the charging source to the device. This is how power and information are transmitted. By dynamically assigning which pins are used for a particular task, the cable maintains its ability to charge and sync your iDevice as if it had the 30 pins of the preceding cable. When the lightning cable is connected to the iPhone, power runs first to the U2 IC chip. This chip controls the delivery of charge to the battery, the charge to the integrated circuit that powers the iPhone, USB functionality, and the sleep button.
Cables made by Apple
or affiliates via the Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad program (MFI)
are designed to work dependably with Apple devices because they have the hardware that performs pin allocation and power management. From a quality control standpoint, the death and device destruction caused by knock-off cables are not good for business. In the aftermath of the death of Ma Ailun
, a Chinese flight attendant electrocuted by picking up her charging iPhone, Apple instituted a buy-back program for unauthorized cables and worked towards ensuring that users would only be able to use cables that met certain quality and safety standards. Unauthorized cables don’t regulate how much power is delivered to the U2 IC chip, damaging or destroying it and compromising the battery. When this happens the phone could stop holding a charge or just not turn on at all. Your $15 savings just turned into a $200 repair bill and a lot of worry.
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