Apple to Require 'Made for iPhone' Program Accessory Manufacturers to Meet Supplier Responsibility Code
As we noted several weeks ago, Apple scheduled a meeting with members of its Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad (MFi) program for November 7-8 in Shenzhen, China to brief them on the latest developments with the new Lightning connector standard. With Apple having moved rather slowly to bring accessory manufacturers up to speed, Lightning-equipped accessories have been slow to appear and it was not until this week that the first official Lightning products were even announced.
TUAW now reports on a few details that have leaked out of the meeting, including the fact that the Lightning connector is waterproof and that all MFi accessory manufacturers must agree to abide by Apple's supplier responsibility code.
[D]uring the meeting this week a few interesting tidbits have made their way to us through the Great Firewall. Most are trivial (did not know: the Lightning connector is waterproof!) but one big one is not. According to our source at the event, Apple intends to make compliance with its supplier code of conduct a condition of MFi licensing. [...]
Pushing it out to the larger accessory ecosystem would be a concrete example of Apple using its 800-pound-gorilla status in the consumer electronics space to influence more companies to behave ethically on worker rights, environmental issues and more.
The report notes that details on requirements for adherence to the code and potential penalties are not yet known, and speculates that U.S.-based accessory companies may have an advantage in compliance with stricter controls already in place.