According to an article on AppleInsider
the new iPhone 5 cable using the "Lightning" connector contains an authentication chip.
I think this chip reveals the real reason why Apple made a new connector in the first place. It's simple - profit.
have pondered reasons for the introduction of the new connector.
Speed was mentioned, durability as well. It isn't the first as it still uses USB2.0, hence it's exactly as fast as the old one.
Durability is more plausible, even though the old one seems to hold up pretty well.
Here is a better suggestion. It was introduced to put the pictured authentication chip in.
Let me translate - this chip will allow iDevices to refuse to operate with anything
not made by Apple or a manufacturer that pays Apple for a license. Whenever an accessory is plugged in the iDevice, the latter will
ask for authentication. It will expect keys from the chip, that only Apple and
licensees know. If the accessory gives the wrong keys - the iDevice will refuse to work with it. Hence any trivial to make
USB cable from a garage in China will be rejected by the iDevice.
Now how does that translate into profit? Using the aforementioned technique,
Apple will eliminate any unlicensed competition. Especially competition from noname Chinese manufacturers. Thus Apple and licensees will not be undercut
from small manufacturers and will be able to keep higher prices for
everything they make.
As a result Apple users should expect a handsome price bump for all new accessories. Not because the chip
costs a lot, but because Apple has restricted the market to themselves
and their licensees.
So there you have it. New connector, less competition, higher profit margins!