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


The new specs were detailed in Apple's recently updated materials for manufacturers in the MFi program, according to sources. Therefore, third-party manufactures using MFi logos without official authorization from Apple will face great legal risks.

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. It also has other advantages for manufacturers...

Thus, as soon as popular Apple accessory makers license their wares, we might be able to buy a cheaper USB-C to Lightning cable to pair with, say, Anker's USB-PD adapter that costs half of what Apple charges for its own. This means that accessories no longer had to include a cable with products and bring down costs as users could use the Lightning cable they got with their iPhone for charging the accessory as well.

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These are useful additions for Apple product owners, especially as the company makes a transition towards using USB-C (at least on laptops). Included in Apple's documentation for the news specifications are speakers and battery packs as products for which it could be advantageous to use a USB-C receptacle.

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. When it comes to use cases for the specific 3.5mm to lightning cable, the cord could be utilized with standard 3.5mm headphones, as well as with speakers that include a standard aux input. Products are also allowed to bundle USB-C cables with the MFi accessories.