Apple will soon allow hardware developers to manufacture additional Made for iPhone (MFi) certified adapters including USB-C to Lightning audio adapters, reports Japanese site Mac Otakara. Apple is said to have recently informed developers who participate in the MFi program about the change.
MFi program members were informed of the changes in Apple's "MFi Accessory Interface Specifications Release R31," which specifies support for new adapter types compatible with iOS devices.
Apple is designating an MFi certification for Lightning to USB-C audio adapters, such as the one
Anker announced in May, designed for Macs with USB-C ports and the new iPad Pro. The adapter allows Lightning headphones to be plugged into a USB-C port.
Also among the additions are Lightning-to-Ethernet adapters, of which Belkin's Ethernet + Power Adapter with Lightning Connector is the only currently MFi-approved accessory available to buy on Apple's online store.
The Belkin cable offers both Power over Ethernet (PoE) and Lightning ports, allowing users to connect to a secure network while continuing to charge their iOS device. The PoE compatibility also provides an additional way to connect and charge simultaneously with a single cable.
According to the report, Apple's latest Lightning-to-Ethernet adapter specification includes the Realtek Gigabit Ethernet Controller "Realtek RLT8111EPU".
As a result of the new specifications, additional third-party options for USB-C to Lightning audio adapters and Lightning-to-Ethernet cables are expected to appear on the market.