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Lightning add-ons in limbo as Apple tightens rules

updated 01:35 pm EDT, Wed October 3, 2012

Only Apple-approved factories can produce Lightning goods

Apple has significantly changed its Made For iPad/iPhone/iPod (MFi) policies, changes that are keeping potential iDevice accessory makers from producing Lightning accessories. Sources tell iLounge that the number of Lightning accessories available in the near future will be lower than previously expected due to the special construction of Apple's adapter as well as the new MFi policies. Apple is reportedly planning a seminar in the near future, where it will discuss the policy changes and new rules for manufacturers, after which designers may begin manufacturing Lightning devices in greater quantities.

At the center of the manufacturers' difficulties is the special authentication chip Apple has built into the Lightning adapter. Unauthorized third parties looking to duplicate Lightning connectors have attested that they are difficult to copy due to the authenticator. One manufacturer began offering an iTronz Lightning Adapter on Amazon in September shortly after the iPhone 5's announcement, but preorders for that device have since been cancelled. Amazon cited the Lightning connector's authentication chip in its letter canceling sales.

Apple is said to be planning an MFi seminar, where it will meet with manufacturers and lay out the new rules for iDevice accessories. Reportedly, Apple will be determining a list of Apple-approved manufacturing facilities, and only those facilities will be able to produce Lightning connector accessories, including third-party accessories.

Currently, no factories have been approved by Apple, meaning it is likely that no one outside of Apple is producing Lightning accessories. Following the MFi seminar, though, sources believe that third-party Lightning accessories will be manufactured in time for the holiday shopping season.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 01-03-08

    This all (Lightning, Maps, WiFi, low inventory, etc.) seems to be putting a damper on iPhone 5. Personally, I was not anxious on getting one considering I have an iPhone 4S; but these issues that keep popping up have really made me decide to definitely wait for a few months. Other than the speed boost, I don't see the worth in getting an iPhone 5....but that's just my opinion.

  1. macmediausa

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-23-05

    I totally agree. There are some nice upgrades over the 4S which I had and subsequently paid extra to switch carriers in order to get the new 5 but aside the speed gains of LTE, I don't think it was a worthwhile upgrade (basically spent an additional $299 + $200 cancellation fees + taxes). Moving to Verizon was nice since now I have more consistent service on the phone but where I had about 8 different places to charge the phone now I only have 1. Can't get additional cables because everyone is out of stock, the prices are significantly higher than then 3rd party offerings of the old style cable, and the length is too short. I used to buy 5 at a time of the old iphone cables and if I lost or broke it, no biggie - just $2-4 lost. Now it's $20 and you can't even find them at this price.

  1. andrealynn0908

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-25-06

    My only complaint so far is that Apple is making it so hard to get Lightning compatible things. Adapters aren't shipping yet. Cables are shipping in 1-2 weeks. If Apple wants to limit the cable manufacturers they need to be able to keep up with demand. I wish I had ordered a few cables when I got my phone. Lesson learned.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Junior Member

    Joined: 01-23-02

    I ordered a couple cables online from Apple and they showed up in just a few days. Was in our local Apple Store (Tacoma) this past Saturday, and they had a couple of rows (on hooks) of USB>Lightning cables.

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 09-17-99

    Originally Posted by macmediausaView Post

    I totally agree. There are some nice upgrades over the 4S which I had and subsequently paid extra to switch carriers in order to get the new 5 but aside the speed gains of LTE, I don't think it was a worthwhile upgrade (basically spent an additional $299 + $200 cancellation fees + taxes). Moving to Verizon was nice since now I have more consistent service on the phone but where I had about 8 different places to charge the phone now I only have 1. Can't get additional cables because everyone is out of stock, the prices are significantly higher than then 3rd party offerings of the old style cable, and the length is too short. I used to buy 5 at a time of the old iphone cables and if I lost or broke it, no biggie - just $2-4 lost. Now it's $20 and you can't even find them at this price.



    Uhm... consider a 3GS or 4 to 5 upgrade. Apple doesn't expect iPhone users to upgrade every year. They don't mind, of course, and expect a few to do this, but they're counting on those whose contracts have actually run out to upgrade.

    I wouldn't trust my devices to $2 cables from the dollar store. One short and your phone could be ruined. Maybe this is what Apple is planning. They don't want warranty returns from people who short out their device with cheap cables.

    The phone has been out less than a month. Soon they'll be everywhere. I saw them at my local Apple store last weekend. Or should Apple have delayed the release of the phone to wait for cables?

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