Posted 21 November 2012 - 14:56
Hi I have just noticed this so please don't be hard on me if it isn't news or something. But I just bought a new iPad mini. it's my first iPad and it's OK. Nothing great. But I have found that all of my old mains powered USB chargers no longer work with the supplied Lightning charger cable.
I am not an apple fanatic by any means, but over the years I have owned a few iPods and a couple of Macs etc. (No iPhone however). In any case this means I have bult up a fair old selection of cables and usb chargers from various sources. Anyway the thing is I tried my charger cable in about 4 of these different non-apple USB chargers, and I am simply seeing a message on my screen on my iPad saying 'not charging'. these USB chargers previously all worked flawlessly with all my past Apple devices.
As far as I understand it this charger cable has a chip built in that identifies it to the iPad and to other officially sanctioned Apple peripherals, so it isn't just a dumb piece of cable any more.
My hunch is that Apple has gone as far as making sure this charger cable can identify something as simple as a mains USB charger plug, and that the official Apple plug may even have some kind of chip inside it too that identifies itself to both the cable and the iPad as being a legit Apple product.
Now I'm not going to go into the morality of this (although if I'm right it truly sucks), but if this is the case it has the potential to put an entire industry that has built up around producing cheap Apple peripherals and cables out of business virtually overnight. Apple is seems may want all the gravy for themselves.
I could be wrong, but I invite you guys to test this. I'm not big on conspiracy theories generally. However if this is correct it will hit a lot of people in the pocket, since no longer will you be able to go to your £1 shop (or 99c store) and pick up a cheap Apple cable, or other compatible peripheral. If this is the case then Apple will virtually own the entire market in peripherals - and you will of course have to pay a huge premium to buy many of the things that used to only cost a couple of dollars directly from Apple instead.
Apple may say it's about 'quality control' of their peripherals, but if I'm right (and you guys might prove me wrong) that is a clear line in BS. Maybe I'm just cynical, but if this is true, then it seems someone may have spotted a way to generate yet another vast revenu stream to inflate the already swollen Apple coffers.