“Apple’s pricey iPhone chargers have traditionally been the target of a thriving black market, with knockoff versions of the easy-to-copy cables available online for mere pennies,” Julianne Pepitone reports for CNNMoney. “That could stop with the iPhone 5, which includes a new connector that’s much, much harder to fake.”

“When Apple announced and released the iPhone 5 last month, it ditched the so-called 30-pin connector it used for almost a decade for a smaller, 8-prong setup dubbed ‘Lightning.’ The smaller size wasn’t the only change,” Pepitone reports. “The operator of Double Helix Cables, an online cable shop, tore apart the Lightning connector just after the iPhone 5’s release — and discovered a chip that wasn’t included in the 30-pin version. His findings, which were first published on the blog AppleInsider, revealed that the intricate architecture of the new cables makes them difficult to rip off. That’s in stark contrast to the simple and often-copied 30-pin connector.”

Pepitone reports, “A source with knowledge of Apple’s manufacturing confirmed that the Lightning connector does have an authentication chip, and the 30-pin does not… John Brownlee, a deputy editor at Cult of Mac who closely tracks Apple’s adapters, told CNNMoney he thinks Apple ‘currently only legally pursues unlicensed 30-pin dock connectors if they are a business of a certain size.’ He expects that to change with Lightning.”

Read more in the full article here.