Has Apple Gotten Sneaky When It Invovles 3rd Party Charging Devices?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Huntn, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #1
    I've ordered some third party charging devices for my iphone. In the past I've gotten a message to the effect "this cable is not certified by Apple", however in the past it still worked/charged. This morning I plugged in my phone into the same charger, got the message, but this time it did not charge. Yes it could be a cheap 3rd party device that broke, but it made me wonder if Apple has the ability to put in blocks that would keep a 3rd party device like this from working? I assume that being certified, means money was paid to Apple, and that if the Apple device can distinguish between something certified or not, they could place a block if they wanted to. Thoughts?
    Thanks!
     
  2. jfoley89 macrumors regular

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    #2
    My thought: why on earth are you buying third party chargers that aren't certified? Have you not seen the reports about phones blowing up and causing serious damage, sometimes even killing people... I hope they do have a way to block these third party chargers
     
  3. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #3
    No, I had not heard. There are many companies that turn out 3rd party components for Mac and Windows products. The cables were to have extra cables and car compatible chargers. Yes I was saving a few bucks, but honestly it's not a savings if they don't work. Honestly I'm not sure if it is solely a cable issue or a combination cable/charger issue. Some of these chargers look exactly like Apple products.
     
  4. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #4
    After thinking about it, I decided this is a stupid thread... Please ignore. :p
     
  5. Stunned Monkey macrumors regular

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    #5
    Oh, I don't know. I don't buy that this latest tactic has anything to do with "safety," rather it has to do with Apple wanting to sell you a $0.30 cable for $20.00. I've used aftermarket cables for iDevices since the 3GS and only now are they being blocked, and I'm pretty sure the potential for "exploding devices" has nothing to do with it.

    The only thing Apple is protecting here is their bottom line.
     
  6. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #6
    AH HAH! ;) Than you for confirming, something is going on. That notion pisses me off. I need to verify if the offending cables works with an Apple charger. Peripherals should not be something Apple is blocking if it's just for $19.70...
     
  7. Stunned Monkey macrumors regular

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    #7
    Heck, look at the Amazon reviews for some cheaper cables...many will say things like, "...worked fine until the 7.03 (or whatever) update and now no longer works..."

    Yeah, Apple is simply making it a pain to use non-Apple cables (that worked fine previously) in order to force you into buying their own. It's money, and no other reason.
     
  8. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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  9. adnbek macrumors 65816

    adnbek

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    #9
    Just because you have one guy agreeing with your suspicion, doesn't make it automatically true. Please do a google search and read how in the last few months, people have been electrocuted, phones have exploded or caught fire and other nasty stuff due to cheap knock-off chargers. There are even disassembly videos showing how shoddily made they are vs. the real thing, with safety components to prevent surges completely missing within them.

    I agree that the genuine cables are pricey but the USB adapter (the box you plug the cable to which can then be plugged in an outlet) is a sophisticated piece or machinery. Think about it: how come cheaper knock-offs can't be as well-made and reliable if the genuine ones are really cheap to make to begin with? Just look up the disassembly video I mentioned earlier and read about all those knocks-offs and how dangerous they can be.
     
  10. Stunned Monkey macrumors regular

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    #10
    So why are simple cables blocked when used with genuine power bricks? I mean, other than the manufacturer not paying into Apple's MFI program? Will the cables explode too?
     
  11. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #11
    Apple owns the end user experience of their product. It is one thing that differentiates them from the competition.

    They have a licensing program for qualification of 3rd party products. In my experience, using such products typically work just fine. I've personally had problems with non-certified products when they have come my way.

    I'm not convinced this is pure greed... if it was, Apple wouldn't bother to license 3rd parties. I think it has more to do with having a product that works well. delivering a good customer experience. If a company chooses to not be licensed... and as a result Apple turns the devices off... then it is product risk that the 3rd party company has chosen to make. As a consumer... you can choose to buy Apple licensed products... not just those sold by Apple.

    /Jim

    ----------

    My understanding is that lighting cables have active silicon in them... at least for certain function cables. I have not looked at this in detail.

    Look at the mess with USB cables. You can buy USB cables longer than the spec allows for... or you can buy USB extension cables... something that is clearly prohibited in the USB specification (at least up through 2.0). Using these type of products, with their unacceptable IR drop, often results in data errors or too low of a power delivery to run peripherals.

    /Jim
     
  12. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    The magic is in the cable, not the charger.

    The MFi authorization comes with the cable.
     
  13. Stunned Monkey macrumors regular

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    #13
    Which only convinces me more that this is less a safety issue than it is a financial issue. The safety claim is simply dressing.
     
  14. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #14
    And so what if it does? What is your point? They own the patent on the Lightning port don't they? Shouldn't they get "their cut"? I'm not saying this as an Apple Fan Boy, I'm saying this as someone who believes in the Patent System. The whole point is to protect what you create and get paid for what you create whether you are an independent inventor all the way up to a giant corporation. If you aren't happy about it, then go with Android since they (generally) jut use Micro-USB for charging and Micro-HDMI for video/audio output.

    And you can get certified cables much cheaper than $20. I bought 3 Monoprice ones for $12 each. That means for less than 2 Apple branded ones, I got 3 monoprice ones. Still an expensive cable, but at least it is cheaper and I don't have to worry about unauthorized cable messages.
     
  15. Stunned Monkey macrumors regular

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    #15
    My only point was to answer the OP's question about whether Apple was blocking 3rd party accessories. I said yeah, and speculated that it was for financial reasons. I didn't really complain about it. It was only after the ridiculous "safety" claim that I took issue with anything.
     
  16. Huntn, Dec 23, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013

    Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #16
    But Apple relies on tons of third party manufacturers to support their products.

    To know what the difference in manufacturing costs between an approved and unapproved cable would add some persective to the argument, if Apple is charging a fair price or being a greedy capitalist. A iphone charger can be purchased for about $5 vs $20. (source)
     
  17. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #17
    Which is exactly my point. They have a certification program with their MFI program... so that the positive end user experience can be achieved across multiple vendors products.

    /Jim
     
  18. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #18
    I admit, I don't know what is involved in certification or how much it costs. My impression is that the product must meet the required technical specs. How much does it cost to do that?
     
  19. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #19
    It doesn't matter... if my theory is correct. You are hung up on that this is just a money grab by Apple. While it may be partially true (I have no idea, nor do I care) ... I think the far larger issue is Apple trying to keep a positive end user experience for their products. When someone buys a crappy 3rd party product that fails to work reliably... it damages Apple's brand and the end user experience of Apple's customer.

    Hence... it doesn't make any difference how much certification costs. By shutting off products that don't bother to get certified... Apple can keep those dubious products off the the market, and hence, restrict use to only those 3rd party products that have been tested to actually work reliably.

    /Jim
     
  20. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #20
    It does matter if it makes the cost of the product rise 400+%, imo. :)
     
  21. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #21
    You can't take the cost of el-cheapo chinese crap as a baseline, though.
    Otherwise you could also say that a genuine Rolex has a 1000+% cost increase, compared to a chinese replica.
     
  22. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

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    #22
    There is a lot of technology in the Lightning port. It was several years in development. It's flexible and multi-function, so the cables include a microchip which configures the interface at the instant it's plugged in. Besides the safety issues that have been beaten to death already by other posters, there are a host of security and functionality problems that could occur with knockoffs that implement the technology incorrectly. So only licensed devices are allowed to connect for that reason, in addition to what folks keep barking about regarding "Apple protecting its bottom line."

    (And as far as that goes, other companies are free to invest equivalent R&D and then give it all away if they wish. Why is it, do you suppose, that one does not see that happening? Why is it that Apple gets all the hate?)

    Legitimate/functional 3rd-party Lightning products do not need to break the bank. Both AmazonBasics and Monoprice offer high-quality, fully-licensed, safe Lightning cables and accessories for a fraction of Apple-branded prices. (I find the current Monoprice cables too stiff, but it's a great little company.)
     
  23. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #23
    Of course the base line has to be a reliable, functional piece of equipment. What would that cost? For an iphone charger, I'd say somewhere between $3.99 and $20. Just don't know how to call it for lack of info.
     
  24. Stunned Monkey macrumors regular

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    #24
    Well, it's not just el cheapo Chinese knockoffs that are the problem. I just picked up a cable from Griffin today at Office Depot, and yep, I get the "this cable is not certified..."

    Griffin isn't exactly a back room manufacturer.
     
  25. priitv8, Dec 27, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013

    priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #25
    Agreed. I have a Griffin car charger myself. It states "Made for iPhone" on the packaging and I see no such message displayed.
    PS are we talking about old 30-pin iPod dock cable or about new Lightning cable?
    Authentication chip appeared already in some cables (eg AV cable, if memory serves) back in 2007. Lightnings have it all AFAIK.
    Old-style charging systems require different tricks, not related to the cable itself.
     

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