Apple 8 Pin Digital Lightning Connector - Charge & Sync Cable

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Byte ® Apple 8 Pin Digital Lightning Connector Charge & Sync Cable - Black / White
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Byte ® Apple 8 Pin Digital Lightning Connector Charge & Sync Cable - Black / White
Apple Lightning Cable
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Apple Lightning Cable

What is the Lightning connector and what is so special about it?

On the 12th of September 2012, Apple introduced there all new proprietary 8 Pin Digital Lightning connector which replaced the ageing 30 Pin Analogue Dock which was prevalent on Apple devices for almost a decade. 
The new charge and sync cable utilising this all new 8 Pin Digital connector is one of the most advanced cables of its type in existence today. 
Whereas on the outside it looks like just another cable, admittedly a good looking one, internally it is in-fact full of interesting technology that sets it apart from all other cables of this kind including, technology that has never been seen on such a cable before.
Features include:
  • Significantly Smaller Footprint
  • Fully Reversible Design
  • Digital Signals
  • Authentication Chip
The fact that Apple decided to use their own proprietary connector rather than the industry standard USB connection suggests that Apple wants to control who can use this technology and how they can use it.
Many people where upset, and some still are, that all their previous Apple cables are now rendered useless as well as some expensive docking stations and speaker systems.
Although Apple has developed adapters which convert from 30 Pin Dock connector to 8 Pin Lightning connector this is a costly and quite frankly an ugly extension which really annoyed Apple fans.
The biggest outcry came from the £15 price tag associated with the Lightning Charge & Sync cable, this to many was simply ridiculous.
Inside a Lightning Connector
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Inside a Lightning Connector

How is it that Apple can control who and how this new Lightning connector can be used?

This is the first cable of its kind that carries a Authentication Chip, the chip is made by Texas Instruments and carries the part number BQ2025 . 
This basically means that when the cable is inserted into the iPod/iPhone/iPad the cable and the device actually talk to each other, in tech terms its called the 'Handshaking' process. 
In its most simple form the iPod/iPhone/iPad may say something like 1,2,3,4 and the cable will respond by saying 5,6,7,8, (its a little more complicated than this but it will illustrate what is going on) if the correct set of codes and protocols are exchanged then the device will know that the cable is using an authentic Apple supplied Lightning connector, if however the codes exchanged and the protocols used do not match up then the device will know that its not an authentic Lightning connector and stop the cable from being used with the device and throw up error messages similar to these...
Non Certified and Counterfiet Cable & Accessory Error Messages
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Non Certified and Counterfiet Cable & Accessory Error Messages
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Non Certified and Counterfiet Cable & Accessory Error Messages
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Non Certified and Counterfiet Cable & Accessory Error Messages
Apple MFI Certification Logo for iPod/iPhone/iPad
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Apple MFI Certification Logo for iPod/iPhone/iPad
Apple MFI Program
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Apple MFI Program

What is MFI and what does it mean?

MFI or Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad is an Apple licensing and certification program that allows 3rd Party Developers such as Byte ® and others to design, develop and manufacture products which are certified for use with Apple devices. 
This process is controlled by Apple and only those who selected by Apple are allowed access to the relevant technical documentation, manufacturing factories and most critically the Lightning connectors themselves. 
Once an Apple MFI Licensee develops a product be it a cable, car charger, battery pack or other accessory that will connect with an Apple device it will be sent off to Apple for testing, verification and certification, only when Apple have certified the product will the developer be issued with manufacturing quantities of Lightning connectors and mass production can start.
Thus Apple can control who uses the Lightning connector and how it is used.  Ultimately this is to safeguard Apple users from products which are counterfeit and not safe for use.
All original Apple MFI certified products will carry the Apple MFI logo on the packaging and the following statement:

  • Apple MFI Certified - "Made for iPod", "Made for iPhone", and "Made for iPad" mean that an electronic accessory has been designed to connect specifically to iPod, iPhone, or iPad, respectively, and has been certified by the developer to meet Apple performance standards. Apple is not responsible for the operation of this device or its compliance with safety and regulatory standards. Please note that the use of this accessory with iPod, iPhone, or iPad may affect wireless performance.
Counterfeit Cables & Dangers
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Counterfeit Cables & Dangers
Disasters Waiting to Happen.
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Disasters Waiting to Happen.

Whats the worse that can happen if I buy a copy cable instead of an Apple MFI Certified one?

We have put together some snippets of new stories that revolve around counterfeit cables, chargers and accessories, so you can make up your own mind as to the worst that can happen.
Please also find below a summary of what we have found in our tests when we put counterfeit cables purchased from various market places and physical retail stores thru basic tests.
"Fake iPhone chargers on sale in the UK could cause fires, electrocutions or burns and are putting lives at risk, warns London Fire Brigade."
"The brigade says that the devices have caused “a number of incidents” across the capital, including one in February where one caught fire and set alight to a house in Tottenham."
Source:  The Telegraph

"Horrified iPhone 5 user watched smoke start to billow from his CHARGER as it melted in his hand."
"An iPhone user has told of his shock after he saw the device's charger melt in his hand.  Smoke started billowing from the end of James Ward's phone cable just a few minutes after he plugged it in to the mains.  The cable then began to melt, instantly filling his home in Romford, Essex with the smell of burning rubber.
"I started to panic, he said. 'I know all about electrics, and stuff like that really shouldn't happen.  I normally plug my phone in and go to bed, but I had a couple of emails to check.  If I had gone to sleep, I dread to think what would have happened."
" I've got an 18-month-old daughter - the consequences of what could have happened don't bear thinking about."
Source: Daily Mail

"The death of a 23-year-old Chinese woman last week, who was allegedly electrocuted while answering a call on her iPhone , is now believed to be linked to a third-party USB charger.  Ma Ailun was apparently using a non certified third-party charger with her iPhone 4, instead of one made by or certified by Apple. 

Third-party chargers and cables are commonplace for electronics, and often come at a steep discount compared to the ones technology companies sell. 
Source: CNet


Results of Tests Conducted by Byte ® on a range of counterfeit Lightning cables purchased from a number of sources both online and real world:

  • Lightning connector breaking off inside device with little or no force
  • Internal wires are not shielded
  • Cable destroyed test iPhone by transmitting unregulated power thru to the phone and causing damage to the circuits inside the phone
  • Wire gauge (thickness) is not adequate for rated current
  • No safety or compliance certifications
  • Very slow charge speed
  • Cables would not work at all once the device detects that its a fake
  • Error messages indicating cable is not certified
  • Cable dangerously over heating and melting whilst givig off toxic fumes
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What is Byte ® and what do we do?


Byte ® is a British consumer electronics brand. 

Being Apple MFI Licensee we design, develop and manufacture a range of the highest quality Apple MFI Certified accessories.
Since we design, develop and manufacture our own goods, we are fanactical about the quality and we take pride in knowing how our products work, how they are made and what is inside them.

Karl Smithson our Senior Industrial Designer kindly decided to write this article in order to educate, alert and explain everything a member of the public would need to know about the Lightning connector and why it is important to avoid products that are counterfeit, as no such article existed we thought it was a great idea.

If you gained something from this guide please bookmark it, like it and share it with your friends and family...It could save their life!

To buy genuine Byte ® products please visit our eBay store.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/byte.direct
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