Apple Is Now Letting Accessory Makers Manufacturer Lightning to 3.5mm Adapters

Apple Adds MFi Specs for Lightning to 3.5mm Output Cable, USB-C Ports

The new specs were detailed in Apple's recently updated materials for manufacturers in the MFi program, according to sources.

The new logos that will be used for products coming out of the MFi program are not a huge change from the previous branding, but they do notably remove icons representing actual devices in exchange for a simplified Apple logo and just the iOS device names in text. This basically means no USB-C charging cases for your iPhone.

Companies that are a part of the MFi program can add USB-C receptacles on officially certified Mac and iOS accessories for charging. Third-party companies can now build things like controllers, speakers, and battery packs with USB-C charging while at the same time keeping Apple's stamp of approval.

USB-C receptacles will have other advantages such as enabling accessory manufacturers to make a single product which can be sold to Apple and non-Apple users both who might use the Type-C USB interface but not take advantage of the Lightning cable. That is one of the reasons Apple has added specs for other non proprietary connectors in the past such as the Ultra Accessory Connector for headphone makers previous year. This allows the users to directly connect their iPhones without requiring one of Apple's 3.5mm dongles through the Lighting.

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Products can include USB-C cables with the MFi accessories but manufacturers may not put an adapter or a cable and do some cost savings instead.

As for the Lightning to standard audio jack cable, it will save you having to plug in the extra adapter that Apple includes in the iPhones' boxes ever since it ditched the jack, and plug a Lightning cable from the iPhone directly in whatever audio gear you have that demands a 3.5mm input.

Apple introduced the specs into its MFi program at the beginning of the year, and it appears there aren't yet any products on the market taking advantage of them.

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