Manufacturers feared that Apple would use licensing rules to restrain the availability of non-Apple Lightning accessories. Now, those fears appear to have been valid. Sources for iLounge have confirmed that Apple has significantly altered its MFi Program rules, limiting the manufacture of Lightning connector accessories to Apple-approved factories. Since no such factories have been approved thus far, accessory makers don’t expect to have any accessories available before the busy holiday shopping season.
Manufacturing sources also said the Lightning connector and its authentication chip have "proved difficult to copy," suggesting that "unauthorized" Lightning cables and adapters won’t be appearing anytime soon. Those hoping for a $4 Lightning cable from the likes of Monoprice.com will likely be sorely disappointed, as Apple’s $19 cable and pricier adaptors will be the only options until early 2013.
I haven’t had problems with third party cables catching on fire or stealing my data. Is there a legitimate reason (legitimate = benefiting consumers) for the need to have cables contain ‘authentication chips’?