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Apple Updates Made For iPhone Licensing Program With USB-C Ports, Lightning to 3.5mm Output Cable

Apple recently updated its Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) licensing program to include specifications for USB-C ports and a Lightning to 3.5mm output cable (via 9to5Mac).

With the new specifications, accessory makers will be able to include USB-C ports on MFi-certified charging accessories designed for the iOS and Mac, with those accessories able to use the USB-C cables that ship with new Macs.


Third-party MFi accessories that include Lightning ports are able to offer passthrough charging, but Apple's new specifications do not allow the USB-C port built into an accessory to be used for passthrough charging or syncing of an iOS device.

Apple's documentation suggests speakers and battery packs could benefit from the use of a USB-C port for charging purposes.

As for the Lightning to 3.5mm stereo output plug, it is designed to let users connect to a 3.5mm input using a Lightning port on an iOS device, something that was previously only possible with adapters.

Apple also recently revamped its Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod logos, introducing support for the San Francisco font and replacing device icons with standard Apple logos.



Top Rated Comments

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22 weeks ago
Let lightning die. They've already embraced USBC/Thunderbolt connector on their Macs. Bring it to iPhone and iPads. These are powerful powerful devices. Hell, just use the connector and keep call it lightning via USBC (like Thunderbolt).
Rating: 24 Votes
22 weeks ago

How so? USB-C shares most of Lightning's characteristics.


Sarcasm? If not, what are the advantages of the lightning connector over USB-C?


USB C has a plethora of problems. One of the main ones is not knowing if something is going to happen with accessories when you plug it in and not knowing what’s going to happen with others.

You go, you buy a USB C charging cable. How fast will it charge your device? Who knows! It might be able to to PD or it might not. It might fast charge and it might not. Grab a lightning cable and an iPad plug and it just works.

Then we have headphones. Oh boy is that a mess. Go grab one of the few pairs of headphones that go by C and ... it might not work with your phone. Weird. How can such a universal plug be so fragmented?

That’s not even talking about the adapters that are just bad in the market right now.

You grab a lightning cable, a pair of lightning headphones, or any adapters and they’ll just work.

No one's denying that. But it's not just about the connector- it's about usability. Why can't the iPhone have the same charger as the Macbook? Why can't it take the same accessories as the rest of the computer industry? What about the iPad?

Why doesn't Apple include a Lightning port on their Macbooks?

The fact is, the industry is on USB C, as is Apple for all their non-iOS devices. No we have to carry 2 chargers with us instead of one.

And technologically, USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3 blow Lightning out of the water. But you know what, keep the lightning standard... just change the connector to USB-C (like they did with Thunderbolt 3),and use USB-PD.


Let’s talk about USB PD and how it’s a mess too with the lack of universal accessibility through all USB C cables.

What are you missing by Apple not going to USB C beyond not wanting multiple cables?
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Moving to USB-C on the iPhone would be the most realistic way to standardize connectors... I mean it was their argument for the MacBook / Pro line.

It is a little strange that you can use an Android with a USB-C straight cable with macOS but need to buy a “special” cable or usb-c to a adapter for an iPhone...

It’s a propriatary thing that gets the company money. They aren’t keeping lightning for the benefit of the customer or industry standards, though it might make sense for their bottom line.


The amount of money they make from lightning licensing is a rounding error.
Rating: 11 Votes
22 weeks ago

How so? USB-C shares most of Lightning's characteristics.


There's no chip in the center of the port to break.
Rating: 11 Votes
22 weeks ago

Lightning is a better cable for mobile devices like the iPhone.


I agree with MG. For mobile devices, Lightning is far easier to use than USB-C.
Rating: 11 Votes
22 weeks ago

Let lightning die. They've already embraced USBC/Thunderbolt connector on their Macs. Bring it to iPhone and iPads. These are powerful powerful devices. Hell, just use the connector and keep call it lightning via USBC (like Thunderbolt).


Lightning is a better cable for mobile devices like the iPhone.
Rating: 9 Votes
22 weeks ago
Lightning is actually smaller than USB-C. Maybe, Lightning should’ve been the next USB-C.
Rating: 7 Votes
22 weeks ago

Let lightning die. They've already embraced USBC/Thunderbolt connector on their Macs. Bring it to iPhone and iPads. These are powerful powerful devices. Hell, just use the connector and keep call it lightning via USBC (like Thunderbolt).


Apple's too arrogant to do that. You're talking about a company that has a history of removing functionality prematurely and needlessly (headphone jack). Given that, they are NOT going to comply with industry standards all the way. Apple has NEVER cared about those kinds of things.
Rating: 6 Votes
22 weeks ago
Finally! Looking forward to getting more affordable USB-C cables. (Get to work, Anker!)
Rating: 6 Votes
22 weeks ago
I wonder when iOS devices’ lightning cables will have USB-C in the other end?
Rating: 5 Votes
22 weeks ago
I am still waiting for W1 chips to be supplied to third party manufacturers. I have Beats Solo 3 and AirPods, but I would love a high quality pair of noise cancelling, W1 equipped B&W or Sennheiser headphones.
Rating: 5 Votes

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