March 18, 2018

RIP, iPhone dongles? Apple approves Lightning-to-3.5mm cable spec

14 March 2018, 08:24 | Lena Norman

People have long complained about the price of accessories for Apple products and this certification program is part of the reason prices are high

People have long complained about the price of accessories for Apple products and this certification program is part of the reason prices are high

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.

The development follows yesterday's news that Apple is revamping the logos used on MFi products.

Users will now be able to charge their MFi accessories with a USB-C cable or a power adapter they might already have, while also being able to draw power from the USB port on a Mac using the same cable.

Notably, Apple similarly started letting companies use its own Lightning port receptacle on MFi accessories a few years back and many Made-for-iPhone chargers, docks, game controllers and other products have adopted it since.

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Apple's documentation for the new specs lists battery packs and speakers as products that could benefit from using a USB-C receptacle. This is the only way to connect an iPhone to one of Apple's USB-C laptops. They can also use the USB port on their Mac with the same cable to charge their Apple device.

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. Besides designing new logos, the company has approved accessory makers to create headphone jack to Lightning adapter dongles.

The fact that now there is the possibility of buying this kind of third-party adapters from the MFi series means that cheaper alternatives will come soon enough too, to the joy of those who still use wired earphones with a 3,5mm jack with an iPhone. The new cable, however, would allow for a much more streamlined experience.

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