updated 05:10 pm EST, Thu November 8, 2012
Enforcement could be complicated prospect
The manufacturers of Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad accessories will soon be held to the same code of conduct Apple expects of its suppliers, claims a TUAW source at this week's Made for i conference in Shenzhen. Although critics have complained about lax Apple enforcement, the code is meant to ensure that suppliers like Foxconn maintain reasonable working conditions and environmental standards. Under the new terms, meeting the code will be a condition of obtaining an MFi license.
The new arrangement could be even more difficult to enforce than the one for suppliers. There are many more accessory makers than suppliers, which could make it harder to do inspections. Some of the companies may also be less attached to Apple products and/or the MFi standard, and willing to sacrifice the attention and product placement MFi provides.
Apple's new authenticated Lightning connector could in theory be used to keep manufacturers in line, but the technology has already been hacked, making it possible to build gear without Apple's blessing.