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Apple now allows accessory manufacturers to make 3.5mm-to-Lightning cables

13 March 2018, 06:59 | Marlene Myers

Apple now allows accessory manufacturers to make 3.5mm-to-Lightning cables

Apple now allows accessory manufacturers to make 3.5mm-to-Lightning cables

Apple has updated the specifications for its MFi accessories program, which also got a new logo makeover this weekend.

With the new specs, companies in the MFi program can now include USB-C receptacles on their officially certified iOS and Mac accessories for charging. This allowed accessories to avoid bundling a cable with products and simultaneously cut down on costs since users could use the same Lightning cable that came with their iPhones for charging the accessory.

As the industry slowly plods towards transitioning to USB-C - in Apple's case, at least in terms of laptops - tiny shifts like this are important as the port technology progressively becomes more popular.

It must be noted however that even though some MFi accessories could use the USB-C port instead of Apple's Lightning connector or micro-USB, the new specs do not necessarily suggest that Apple has plans to move away from Lightning.

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While Apple's iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X have fast charging circuitry built in, they ship with regular chargers that take more than two hours to top up an iPhone 8, for example, or three for the iPhone X, as you can see in out testing video above. Now third-party companies building things like controllers, battery packs, and speakers can use USB-C charging while still keeping Apple's stamp of approval.

As for the Lightning to standard audio jack cable, it will save you having to plug in the extra adapter that Apple includes in the iPhones' boxes ever since it ditched the jack, and plug a Lightning cable from the iPhone directly in whatever audio gear you have that demands a 3.5mm input.

This is the branding that Apple allows manufacturers in the MFi program to put on packaging and alongside marketing of accessories, which is meant to inform consumers that the product is an official, Apple-approved accessory for iOS devices.



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