Apple now allows accessory manufacturers to make 3.5mm-to-Lightning cables

Alonzo Simpson
March 13, 2018

Along with updated logos for its MFi accessories program, Apple is now letting third-party accessory manufacturers to sell 3.5mm-to-Lighting cables, as well as USB-C ports in their products, according to a report from 9to5Mac.

For any of you that doesn't know what MFi certified is, it is a manufacturing certification given to Apple's external accessories manufactures to indicate that the product has met Apple's performance and quality standards. This means users still have to fork out upwards of $25 to grab themselves a USB-C to lightning cable.

These news specs in no way suggest that Apple is giving up on Lightning. Now third-party companies building things like controllers, battery packs, and speakers can use USB-C charging while still keeping Apple's stamp of approval.

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While it's possible some MFi accessories could use the USB-C port instead of Apple's Lightning connector or micro-USB, the new specs are not necessarily an indication Apple has plans to move away from Lightning.

While Apple's iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X have fast charging circuitry built in, they ship with regular chargers that take more than two hours to top up an iPhone 8, for example, or three for the iPhone X, as you can see in out testing video above. Products are also allowed to bundle USB-C cables with the MFi accessories, but manufacturers can opt to not include a cable or adapter and reduce their costs and or price in the process. They can also use the USB port on their Mac with the same cable to charge their Apple device.

Though, adding a 3.5mm to Lightning, it's a useful addition for older headphones with removable cables or speakers with 3.5mm aux inputs. The new cable would improve the user experience from an audio perspective and add more durability to the entire product.

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