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Bootleg Lightning Devices Coming For iPhone 5

Watch out for cheap, bootlegged iPhone 5 accessories. A Chinese tech company claims to have obtained "cracked" chips for iPhone 5 accessories that support the Lightning connector--but bypass Apple's authentication functions.

Chinese iPhone accessory company iPhone5mod is claiming to have obtained chips that bypass the iPhone's ability to detect unlicensed Lightning connector accessories.

Apple attempts to exercise strict control over accessory manufacturing through its Made for iPad/iPhone/iPod (MFi) program. According to M.I.C. Gadget, no third-party factories have been approved under the program and this explains the shortage of accessories available now. The licensing restrictions, the licensing fee, and the shortage create huge incentives to bypass the license.

iPhone5mod is a company with a light product line. It sells a case for the iPhone 4/4S that makes it look, outwardly, like an iPhone 5. More recently, it showed the iPhone 5 Flash Lightning Dock, a Lightning dock with a cable that lights up to show the changing flow of current as the iPhone charges.

iPhone5mod says that it has obtained "cracked" chips, which bypass the MFi authentication functions in the phone. This suggests that it--or other small foreign companies--soon might sell generic unauthorized iPhone 5 accessories. However, iPhone5mod says that the devices it currently is selling use official licensed chips from Apple's supplier.

Hat tips to M.I.C. Gadget and MacRumors.

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