Despite Apple's attempts to block you from getting your hands on cheap Lightning cables for your iPhone 5, plenty of sellers are hawking generics online. The only trouble is, they're selling a product they almost certainly don't really have.
Peter from Double Helix cables has been talking with the Chinese suppliers behind the listings you see across Amazon, eBay and countless other internet warehouses:
I'm talking to a few suppliers via chat on Alibaba right now, I also sent out a flood of inquiries to every manufacturer claiming to have Lightning cables. Long story short is that the Chinese really don't have these cables built yet. I don't doubt that each factory is working on "cloning" the chips as this conversation will show you. The 3-4 week ship time that Alibaba suppliers are claiming is realistically more like 2 months. All these ebayers and amazon sellers not only don't have product in hand, but their suppliers don't either. People should be very surprised if this cable can be cloned by Christmas. This is a serious undertaking and the Chinese know it...
He included this revealing chat with a Chinese factory rep, who basically throws up her hands and says nobody knows exactly what Apple's secret chip does, or how to get around it.
The takeaway here? Do not buy third party Lightning cables. Yet. When the real fakes flow, we'll let you know.