Apple's 'Made for iPhone' conference said to hammer out Lightning guidelines in November

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple's new iPhone 5 and revamped iPod line may soon be getting the first official "Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad" (MFI) accessories, as third-party manufacturers are reportedly set to meet with the company to discuss the terms of implementing the devices' Lightning connector.

Lightning Plug


A person familiar with the plans of an Apple accessory manufacturer told TechCrunch that the company will hold a conference for MFI partners in Shenzhen on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8, with the meeting set to lay down guidelines pertaining to the new Lightning standard.

The source went on to say that Apple will be enforcing strict sales regulations for the small connectors, possibly due to constraints within Apple's own supply chain.

The publication is also hearing that the new 30-pin replacements will be "fairly high" compared to other standards, which is consistent with earlier reports that estimated Apple pays about $3.50 per connector. a 775 percent increase in ASP compared to the legacy 30-pin dock connector's last price of $0.40. While expensive, Lightning is still seen as cutting edge technology, meaning the price will drop as manufacturers ramp up production.

As part of Apple's new Lightning guidelines, the company will reportedly be responsible for meting out pin supply to MFI partners, granting the components to third-party accessory makers only after their products have been deemed to meet certain standards.

Despite attempts to protect the Lightning cable from being cloned by unauthorized manufacturers, there is a high likelihood that Chinese-engineered parts will show up on the market, another source said.

Lightning Cable Teardown
Lightning cable teardown reveals possible authentication chip. | Source: Chipworks


Apple has gone to substantial lengths in designing Lightning's built-in security, as noted by a Chipworks teardown of the cable that revealed what is believed to be an authentication chip similar to those used in older printer cartridges.

It is unclear whether the conference will yield any Lightning-compatible accessories in time for the lucrative holiday shopping season.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    Here it comes: the 'greedy' accusations... in 5,4,3,2,...
  • Reply 2 of 30
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Nobody seems to make the distinction between making accessories vs. making accessories AND being in the %u201CMade for iPhone%u201D program which carries Apple endorsement and badging.

    Apple has always had requirements for the latter, possibly more strict now. But rules for the %u201Cmade for iPhone%u201D program itself do not tell us much about the general feasibility of making accessories. Is anything %u201Cdishonest%u201D being used to stop that? Or it simply new and complex technology, which is going to take longer to clone?
  • Reply 3 of 30
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    Shouldn't this have been done ahead of the iPhone launch? I mean why wait till after the launch of the iDevice that use such interfaces?
  • Reply 4 of 30
    It it works anything like the old Epson cartridges, then all you have to do is short pin 1 and 2 to reset the ink count.
  • Reply 5 of 30

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post



    Shouldn't this have been done ahead of the iPhone launch? I mean why wait till after the launch of the iDevice that use such interfaces?


    I like this new connector - its much easier to use than the old dock - but dissapointed that we have to wait so long for third party accessories. Surely the proper information could have been released to approved parties some time ago.

  • Reply 6 of 30
    macslutmacslut Posts: 514member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post



    It it works anything like the old Epson cartridges, then all you have to do is short pin 1 and 2 to reset the ink count.


     


     


    I just tried it with my iPhone 5 and yes, it's exactly like the Epson cartridges, only it's pins 7 and 8 that reset the ink count.


     


    EDIT: Actually it is pins 1 and 2; I was holding it backwards.

  • Reply 7 of 30
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I like this new connector - its much easier to use than the old dock - but dissapointed that we have to wait so long for third party accessories. Surely the proper information could have been released to approved parties some time ago.

    But then it would have been leaked from those companies much sooner as Apple couldn't control what happens after they send it to 3rd-party accessory makers. Even within the tightly controlled factories in China and Taiwan then presumed new dock connector was leaked, yet we still had to wait for the event to the name and details of it. With the accessory makers leaking it we'd know everything about it.

    But I agree that as a new iPhone owner it's annoying that we have to wait for the accessory makers now but is that really a big deal as an early adopter? If it was we would have waited, wouldn't we? Bottom line is this is a very future forward solution that should be with us as long as the old connector so I doubt we'll even remember the 6 months of no 3rd party accessories in 2021 when we're wondering why Apple has any ports at all on their IPhone.
  • Reply 8 of 30


    Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

    Shouldn't this have been done ahead of the iPhone launch?


     


    Secrecy.

  • Reply 9 of 30
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,833member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post



    Shouldn't this have been done ahead of the iPhone launch? I mean why wait till after the launch of the iDevice that use such interfaces?


    More to the point: why wait until more than a month after the launch?

  • Reply 10 of 30
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    Secrecy.

    Not doing very well on the secrecy front since Gizmodo. We knew what the connectors were going to look like weeks before.
  • Reply 11 of 30


    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

    Not doing very well on the secrecy front since Gizmodo. We knew what the connectors were going to look like weeks before.


     


    Doesn't matter what the rumors show. They're not going to confirm something before it happens on their terms.

  • Reply 12 of 30
    Considering the delay in getting this out to 3rd parties, I don't understand why Apple chose not to make a charging doc. :\
  • Reply 13 of 30
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    oneaburns wrote: »
    Considering the delay in getting this out to 3rd parties, I don't understand why Apple chose not to make a charging doc. :\

    I would assume it's because not enough people use them t make it a viable for Apple.

    Remember the original iPhone came with a dock. After that it was something you had to buy. I tried using the original dock but it was annoying. I even bought one for my iPad, forget which model(s), but I never use them. I suppose if I had a device it would plug into but just for charging it's been a complete waste for me.
  • Reply 14 of 30
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I would assume it's because not enough people use them t make it a viable for Apple.
    Remember the original iPhone came with a dock. After that it was something you had to buy. I tried using the original dock but it was annoying. I even bought one for my iPad, forget which model(s), but I never use them. I suppose if I had a device it would plug into but just for charging it's been a complete waste for me.

    Yes, I miss it coming with the dock but was happy to pay for one. (The iPad dock did have issues though.) I charge my phone overnight and always kept it in the dock next to my nightstand. It was a nice clean set up rather than trying to get the bare cord to not fall off my night stand. If they needed to raise the price due to low sales I would have paid more.
  • Reply 15 of 30
    rufworkrufwork Posts: 129member
    Well, the interesting thing is that this connector has an EPROM. I wonder if it isn't going to update every so often when it's on the net... So if you've got an unauthorized and imperfect clone, it might stop working on you at some point. Kind of like how Blu-ray is supposed to have codes so that if a machine is hacked, you can release future Blu-rays that are no longer compatible with that model.

    Otherwise, why the trouble, you know?
  • Reply 16 of 30
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    rufwork wrote: »
    Well, the interesting thing is that this connector has an EPROM. I wonder if it isn't going to update every so often when it's on the net... So if you've got an unauthorized and imperfect clone, it might stop working on you at some point. Kind of like how Blu-ray is supposed to have codes so that if a machine is hacked, you can release future Blu-rays that are no longer compatible with that model.
    Otherwise, why the trouble, you know?

    It could be simpler than that (but honestly I'm far out of my depth here). Perhaps it's like those old iPod cables that stopped working for even charging with new iPods because of advancements to the devices, but this might be a way to keep the same Lightening cable seamilessly being completely usable many years from now. The Lightening cable you have with your iPhone 5 may not understand your iPad (7) but if Apple gives it an EEPROM when you plug it into the device years from now the device could negotiate a low level chat that says it needs this updated SW to perform better.
  • Reply 17 of 30


    Yup, a mistake to not have had it done before hand. I actually cancelled my order, since it wasn't coming till end of Oct anyway, as I want to desktop docks.

  • Reply 18 of 30
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    rkevwill wrote: »
    Yup, a mistake to not have had it done before hand. I actually cancelled my order, since it wasn't coming till end of Oct anyway, as I want to desktop docks.

    I understand there are certainly a group of buyers where this is a deal breaker but I think it's strong to call this a mistake. The iPhone you don't et al. don't buy will be bought by someone else because the demand group far outweighs your group. Furthermore, of all the things Apple can wait on it's the 3rd-party accessories group because iDevices have the best and biggest accessory market bar none so if accessories are a big deal then Apple isn't likely to lose you as a customer because they have this program and because the are consistent in ports and OS across product categories.
  • Reply 19 of 30
    I have to agree, why the hell are we the users who made Apple what it is by buying their stuff having to wait months for accessories that are overpriced and overhyped by Apple and others.

    Apple should have brought the usual suspects into the fold months ago to discuss under NDA how Lightning was going to roll out, be supported and the requirements. The holidays are here and manufacturers needed to make their sales during the biggest shopping time of the year.

    Of course Apple doesn't care that their accessory partners are not making sales right now because Apple is in control of the few accessories that are available.
  • Reply 20 of 30


    And why not call it what it is?


    They are using a loophole in copyright law that allows them to create a device that won't use a third-party unlicensed (which is NOT always a bad thing) cable that could have cost us, their "loyal customers" (or should I say SUCKERS) $2-3 on monoprice vs. a $20-30 cable that has that dang chip in it.


     


    We're talking about a chip that you can BET uses proprietary, copyrighted code. The copyright part almost guarantees that Apple will be filing DMCA complaints against anyone that circumvents the technology. Which means they will probably sue anyone like Best Buy or New Egg if they dare sell 3rd party, non-official cables.




    This is the same thing as a dealer suing the battery maker of a brand they don't like if you replace what is in your car. 


    Or maybe a house manufacturer suing either you or the contractor if they don't like the additions you have made. All they'd have to do is copyright the floorplan to your house.


    The EU passed a law that said all phones had to have micro-USB as charge ports. So guess what Apple had to include to all EU iPhone5's? Adaptors that makes it possible to use a micro USB cable to charge/sync their phones.


     


    By the way, you can be sure that Belkin and Griffin and all those guys are just THRILLED to stay signed onto Apple's Made for iPhone program. They get to turn over 20-30% of the profit on every sale to Apple for the privilege.


     


    Disclaimers:


    I have owned every iphone and nothing but OS X for the last ten years.


    I do believe in the free market and capitalism.


    Yes, I think they have great products and they're #1 brand in the world for a reason, but why should I applaud them jilking me out of that much more money for a freaking cable?

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