TL;DR: Gold is Best
The folks at iMod have been active contributors to the MFi/Lightning cable debate since the standard debuted a year ago. MFi is Apple’s standard for 3rd party Lighting cables which requires Apple approved chip designs to run. There has been an ongoing debate on whether 3rd parties should need to follow Apple’s rules since third party non-MFi cables in many, but not all, cases have seemed to function properly.
iPhone5Mod, as they were known then, were one of the first ones with a Non-MFI cable. They were able to circumvent Apple’s recent tightening of the standard in iOS7 and recently they’ve put out a non-MFI cable that circumvents Apple’s latest “cat-and-mouse” effort to stem Lighting cable abuse from non-MFi manufacturers. Unfortunately, if you bought one of iMod’s early cables, Apple has ‘cut’ you out of the loop.
iMod, to make things a little blurrier, also sell Apple MFi-certified Lightning cables that have Apple’s blessing and theoretically should withstand future iOS and iDevice hardware upgrades. But obviously these are sold at a premium, sometimes as high as $10 more than non-MFi cables.
They were nice enough to send me their current MFi and non-MFi cables for testing. Over the past week both MFi and non-MFI cables have worked flawlessly on iPhone 5s (Gold) and wife’s iPhone 5 and I’d easily recommend either. However, caveat emptor: Apple could again release an update that cuts the cord on these non-MFI version.
Sooo… with all of that in mind, iMod has released a Gold Lightning cable that would be approved by Raffi (much better than this!) in both $9 non-MFi and $18 MFi varieties. You know the drill: you get what you pay for.
Update: The gold cable/popularity of this post has brought down the iMod e-commerce servers. We’re told that they should have everything back in order within 20 minutes.