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Old Nov 29, 2012, 10:57 AM   #1
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Inside an Unofficial Third-Party Lightning Connector Production Facility




While the first official third-party accessories supporting Apple's new Lightning standard have just started hitting the market, MacRumors has also been following the efforts of unauthorized accessory manufacturers such as iPhone5mod who have been cracking the standard to produce their own chips and connectors.

iPhone5mod has already released a series of cables, docks, and adapters based on the Lightning standard as they continue refining their processes, and the company today announced its third-generation Lightning connector that is "almost identical" to Apple's implementation.

Furthermore, iPhone5mod has posted an inside look at its new production facilities, which are three times larger than its previous facilities and now support as many as 40 workers alongside increased automation. A video overview of the facility and a series of photos provide an interesting glimpse at what goes into production of these cables and other accessories.

Apple is keeping tight control over official Lightning connectors, and we've heard that supplies are currently limited to just a handful of third-party vendors with many others having to wait until next year to receive access to the connector hardware. Those tight supplies and Apple's relatively slow progress on its own and third-party accessories have left it open to companies such as iPhone5mod seeking to meet customer demand.

Article Link: Inside an Unofficial Third-Party Lightning Connector Production Facility
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:04 AM   #2
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It's the third generation and the product is "almost" identical? I'd be uneasy with either of the earlier versions and probably even with this one.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:04 AM   #3
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Anyone tried this yet? I mean Gen 1 and/or 2.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:04 AM   #4
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Nice no more paying $20 for one!
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:07 AM   #5
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I've tried most of their stuff and it works fine so far.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:09 AM   #6
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Edited. Found the answer.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:14 AM   #7
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Scary Stories

Got to say i have heard a few scary stories where friends have bought 3rd party connectors lighting and old and the connectors worked but build quality was poor, 2 people i know had the connectors damage the iPhone and ended up not working at all. I'll stick to first party, yes its expensive but at least they always work and im covered should anything go wrong in the future (hopefully never)
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:14 AM   #8
rtdunham
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Originally Posted by WildCowboy View Post
I've tried most of their stuff and it works fine so far.
I wonder, thenn, what they changed from generation to generation? I got the sense they were discovering details requiring mods to the product. That would imply that something was missing from the earlier ones, or so it would seem.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by rtdunham View Post
I wonder, thenn, what they changed from generation to generation? I got the sense they were discovering details requiring mods to the product. That would imply that something was missing from the earlier ones, or so it would seem.
I don't know the exact details, but they tell me this third generation one has a new metal frame to more closely resemble Apple's design. It also has better durability. The chip inside is the same as the previous generation.

But yes, it is a bit concerning that their still rapidly iterating on their designs. This work should have done before launching at all. Still, I've used their early stuff and it works.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:10 AM   #10
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what's written on the inside of that box?

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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:14 AM   #11
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I'm not willing to use these things on my iPhone 5. I'd rather use the authorized stuff that I know is safe and won't burn up my iPhone or something.

These connectors may work when they test them but they haven't had time to test them over a long period of time and with the rapid revisions (Already 3rd generation after just two months?) this company doesn't fill me with confidence.

I do badly want a dock but I think I'll get an elevation dock with the cable passthrough.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:14 AM   #12
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what's written on the inside of that box?

Image
Looks like KFC's secret recipe? Or maybe the failed formula for New Coke?



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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:14 AM   #13
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Take that Apple.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:24 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by sashakla View Post
what's written on the inside of that box?

Image
Looks like someone keep tally of (mayhaps) the connector pieces in the box...

simple addition at one point there was 11,700 of something.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:25 AM   #15
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That picture of the woman with a soldering iron is why I will not buy any knock offs.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:14 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by rtdunham View Post
It's the third generation and the product is "almost" identical? I'd be uneasy with either of the earlier versions and probably even with this one.
I've never trusted the "Unofficial" cables and docks...I think products by Belkin and the other appointed manufacturers are the best way to avoid issues with Apple stuff.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 12:27 PM   #17
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I don't have a real concern with this ....

I mean, yes, there's a little more inherent trust in the name-brand cable (or dock), but at the same time, this stuff isn't exactly rocket science.

Someone simply has to figure out how the parts interconnect and get their hands on the appropriate components. After that, it's a matter of finding labor who can put it all together. These days, that labor is essentially coming from the same pool of workers for the "official name brand" items as it is for the knockoffs.

We've already had a defective Lightning cable sold to us directly from the local Apple store -- so their cables aren't foolproof either.


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I've never trusted the "Unofficial" cables and docks...I think products by Belkin and the other appointed manufacturers are the best way to avoid issues with Apple stuff.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:22 AM   #18
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Would love to see them tackle video out as well
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:24 AM   #19
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I'm still not over that apple calls this connector lightning.

It's completely cheesy. Frankly I'm embarrassed to say lighting.

It's silly.

It's not fast.

There is nothing lighting about it!
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 12:05 PM   #20
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Cool, but you know what would be even cooler? If iDevices could sync and charge like the iPod Shuffle, through the audio jack. That way, for 99% of people, you would never even need this expensive cable which has some awesome features you'll never use… And the Audio jack is also "reversible" (no wrong way to plug it in), it's strong, and a standard as it is. It's also cheap and easy to manufacture, and no silly chips inside.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 12:24 PM   #21
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Cool, but you know what would be even cooler? If iDevices could sync and charge like the iPod Shuffle, through the audio jack. That way, for 99% of people, you would never even need this expensive cable which has some awesome features you'll never use… And the Audio jack is also "reversible" (no wrong way to plug it in), it's strong, and a standard as it is. It's also cheap and easy to manufacture, and no silly chips inside.
Except there are more than one type of cable for the Shuffle. The charging cable does not match a headphone cable. So there's still some messiness.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 12:32 PM   #22
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Except there are more than one type of cable for the Shuffle. The charging cable does not match a headphone cable. So there's still some messiness.
Sure, it has one more contact, but it's still a lot simpler than the Lightning connector isn't it? I'm not saying there should not be a lightning connector, but it should only be used for special things like accessories and in-car systems, etc… The most important things, like charging and syncing, that people do every single day, don't require such a modern cable that has a built in chip with 8 contacts and dynamic pin reassignment.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 12:44 PM   #23
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Sure, it has one more contact, but it's still a lot simpler than the Lightning connector isn't it? I'm not saying there should not be a lightning connector, but it should only be used for special things like accessories and in-car systems, etc… The most important things, like charging and syncing, that people do every single day, don't require such a modern cable that has a built in chip with 8 contacts and dynamic pin reassignment.
Well, 3rd parties can screw up anything. If they build a Lightning that only charges, that makes it annoying to avoid that as a consumer. But they can make a mess with any cable. What if they put the wires to the wrong contacts in the Shuffle cable? Or you get it confused with someone else's cable that looks the same but only operates their phone, not the Shuffle? Pays to understand and know what you have, as a consumer.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 01:05 PM   #24
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Well, 3rd parties can screw up anything. If they build a Lightning that only charges, that makes it annoying to avoid that as a consumer. But they can make a mess with any cable. What if they put the wires to the wrong contacts in the Shuffle cable? Or you get it confused with someone else's cable that looks the same but only operates their phone, not the Shuffle? Pays to understand and know what you have, as a consumer.
Of course, but what I mean is that maybe then even Apple could sell the cable for far less, so we wouldn't need to turn to 3rd parties… Or no actually I'm sure Apple would charge loads for any cable, no matter how simple it is
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 12:57 PM   #25
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I’m all for having un-approved/unofficial options out there.

I usually buy the Apple version, but not always; sometimes the knock-offs haven’t worked, so I simply return them for a refund. I wouldn’t mail order a knock-off, but I’d give one a try from a local store with a return policy.

Although: with Apple apparently enforcing worker conditions to earn the “Made for iPhone” badge, that badge has gained some new importance for me.
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