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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77 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
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
77 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
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
77 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.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
77 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.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
77 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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
77 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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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