Ever since the iPhone 5 came out sporting a new 9-pin connector (soon to be added to the iPad) discerning shoppers have been wondering when cheap third party cables were going to hit the market. We think we saw one that lit up, but that’s still at $20, which is the same disappointing price that the official cable retails for. The problem is that Apple’s included a chip in the cable that isn’t cheap. The chip reassigns pins so the cable can be direction agnostic when plugged into a iDevices. However, a leak today to BGR shows that Chinese manufacturers may have cracked the chip, meaning that cheap third party cables can’t be that far away.  The photo above shows that multiple clones of Apple’s chip design have been manufactured–even before Apple’s partners have been able to get their offerings to market. Also, note that cables made with these chips are definitely not sanctioned by Apple, and are possibly illegal if they’re not licensed.

So if you’re looking for a second (or third, or fourth) charging cable for your iPhone 5, hold tight. They’re coming soon.

Photo courtesy of Chronic and Apple.pro.

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