Apple’s new lightning connector has come under fire since it was first announced with the iPhone 5 (Keep in mind that the Lightning connector will be implemented in future generations of iPads, too). The main problem has been that the new connector doesn’t fit any of our old accessories. The $300 external speaker, the $150 battery charger, its all a waste.
Apple made an 8-pin adapter that will put you back an additional $30, but that doesn’t help when you are trying to connect your new iPhone to an accessory whose dimensions won’t accommodate the size of the adapter. A recently approved patent for a universal wireless adapter may be the answer, but the technology for that is probably a ways off.
Now, we are finding out that Apple has changed their guidelines in order to make it much harder to make third-party accessories that are compatible with the Lightning dock. According to iLounge, multiple resources have confirmed that Apple changed its “Made for iPad/iPhone/iPod (MFi) policies. They are grabbing more control over third-party manufacturing of Lightning accessories by saying that only Apple-approved manufacturing facilities will be allowed to produce Lightning connector accessories.
According to MacRumors, the Lightning cord uses adaptive technology to “sense what kinds of devices are being connected and to use chips embedded in the cable to assign pin functionalities appropriate for each situation.”
Sources told iLounge that Apple is planning an MFi seminar in China this November. Third-party manufacturers who attend the seminar will then be able to make Lightning accessories.
Amazon shoppers who tried to order the “iTronz” lightning adapter in September were told their orders were canceled due to “a very critical functional issue.”
What all of this strict control leads us to wonder is, why? Why does Apple want to control third-party accessories so much? Is it because the company doesn’t want third-rate products ruining their devices? Or, is it possible that Apple wants a piece of the action everywhere it can get it?