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Apple to Begin Allowing Accessory Manufacturers to Include Lightning Ports Early Next Year

While Apple's Lightning connector has become ubiquitous across the company's iOS device lineup over the past several years, third-party accessory manufacturers have so far been unable to include ports for the connector on their products. That appears set to change in the relatively near future, however, as Apple has informed members of the company's MFi program that it will begin shipping a version of the Lightning port for third-party use early next year, reports 9to5Mac.
Allowing accessory makers to build-in a Lightning port provides a number of benefits, according to manufacturers briefed during Apple’s MFi Summit. One of the biggest benefits is to reduce costs for manufacturers and simplify the product experience for users by using Lightning to provide power to both an accessory and the iOS device. Dock or battery case manufacturers, for example, would previously have to provide a separate USB cable and power supply to charge an accessory.
lightning_connector
The report indicates Apple is also developing a new "slimmed down, low profile version" of the Lightning connector itself currently used in third-party accessories. The new package will offer a simpler and smaller method for building connectors into accessories such as docks and charging cases.

Some two years after introducing the Lightning connector with the iPhone 5, Apple is clearly working to broaden the ecosystem of accessories taking advantage of the versatile space-saving connector. Earlier this year, the company announced new MFi specifications that would allow headphones to connect to devices over Lightning. While the announcement led to speculation that Apple is looking to remove the traditional headphone jack from its devices, at least for now the feature appears intended to provide additional features such as power to headphones.


Top Rated Comments

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23 months ago

Great. More ports for one of the best connectors ever made. Think I'll send Apple a photoshopped picture of our 20+ broken Lightning leads, including at least five Apple ones.

M.


there, I fixed it for you
Rating: 17 Votes
23 months ago

Some two years after introducing the Lightning connector with the iPhone 5, Apple is clearly working to broaden the ecosystem of accessories taking advantage of the versatile space-saving connector. Earlier this year, the company announced new MFi specifications that would allow headphones to connect to devices over Lightning. While the announcement led to speculation that Apple is looking to remove the traditional headphone jack from its devices, at least for now the feature appears intended to provide additional features such as power to headphones.



power to headphones .... hello 2hr battery life
Rating: 9 Votes
23 months ago

How would a lightning connector powering headphones draw more power than the same headphones connected via a 3.5mm audio jack?


because one is already amplified analog and the other is non amplified digital that needs DAC and amplifier.
Rating: 8 Votes
23 months ago
Great. More ports for one of the worst connectors ever made. Think I'll send Apple a picture of our 20+ broken Lightning leads, including at least five Apple ones.

M.
Rating: 8 Votes
23 months ago

because one is already amplified analog and the other is non amplified digital that needs DAC and amplifier.


But you'd no longer be using the DAC and amplifier built into the iPhone. It seems to me you're just transferring the DAC/amplifier responsibilities from the iPhone to the headphones. Unless the headphones DAC/amp are far more power hungry than the iPhones, I can't see there being much difference in power consumption.
Rating: 6 Votes
23 months ago

You do realize you would still have the option to use 3.5mm? It's like people think that Apple is out to get them and ruin their experience - it's just another option!


Guess you did not experience the fun that adding displayport brought with it. Especially if you owned a mac pro and wanted to hook up a new apple monitor ;)

Apple has a habit of only offering one proprietary standard. I can see them not offering a 3.5 jack, they did it with display port.
Rating: 6 Votes
23 months ago

power to headphones .... hello 2hr battery life


How would a lightning connector powering headphones draw more power than the same headphones connected via a 3.5mm audio jack?
Rating: 5 Votes
23 months ago

Great. More ports for one of the worst connectors ever made. Think I'll send Apple a picture of our 20+ broken Lightning leads, including at least five Apple ones.

M.


What do you do with your cables? I've been using a single connector since they came out to charge my two iPhones and iPads without any problems. One needs to learn how to properly treat delicate electronic equipment.

Oh, and by the way, you should always unplug your lightning cable from your iPhone 6+ before you put it in your back pocket and sit on it. :(
Rating: 5 Votes
23 months ago

there, I fixed it for you


He's right. I've had at least two certified Apple lightning connectors break under the head, and more non-apple ones fail than I can count.

Here's a pic I took a year ago of the one that came w/my iPhone 5.

Your blind allegiance to a corporation that doesn't even know you exist and wouldn't care even if it did is touching, though.
Rating: 5 Votes
23 months ago

My guess?

They disconnect them by the grabbing the cable and yanking, whereas most people will grip the connector and give it a gentle tug.

I've got four lightning cables and I've never seen anything like that, but then I don't have small children.


I think that's it. The Lightning cable design is flawed in that the plug is too small and slippery, so people use the only place they can easily grip: the cord. It's another one of Ive's design failures in which no thought is given to how the user interacts with it.

I like the Griffen Lightning cables like the one below. It's hard to see in the photo, but the plug body is tapered to be thinner on the plug side and thicker on the cord side, making it easier to grasp and pull. The taper also permits a more robust construction while still fitting through cases and the like.

Rating: 5 Votes

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