Apple to Meet with “Made for iPhone” Accessory Makers in China


TechCrunch reports Apple is set to hold a conference in China with their ‘Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod’ program partners to discuss AirPlay and Bluetooth standards as well as restrict sales of Lightning connectors to partners only:

We’re now hearing from a source close to Apple’s accessory manufacturing partner that the company plans to hold a conference in Shenzen, China for its Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad (MFI) program partners on November 7 and 8, similar to the one it held last year between December 7-9 when it expanded the MFI program to promote adoption of new AirPlay and Bluetooth standards. We’re also hearing that Apple will strictly regulate sales of Lightning connectors for MFI partners, and that the cost per part for those components, while not unreasonable, is fairly high compared to other widely-available standards like USB.

What’s interesting to note here is Apple wants a tight control over its proprietary Lightning connector, which was noted by Chipworks to contain an unpublished Texas Instruments chip suspected dedicated to securing chip from being cloned, but the latter appears to be inevitable.

Apple’s MFi Program is described as:

Join the MFi licensing program and get the hardware components, tools, documentation, technical support, and certification logos needed to create AirPlay audio accessories and electronic accessories that connect to iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

The screenshot below notes joining the program will allow companies to get access to the necessary “hardware connectors and components that are required” to make iOS and AirPlay audio accessories and more. If you want to play ball, you’ll need to meet Apple’s strict requirements.


  • I wonder how long it’s going to take Apple to realize that they are fighting a loosing battle with this – I have zero doubt that somewhere in China they are working furiously on cracking the security (If it’s not accomplished already, as some have reported) and cheap cables will be flooding the market soon.

    As much of an Apple guy as I am, this smacks of greed, nothing more. Changing the standard is one thing, but trying to keep a draconian hold on the supply of cables after the fact is another.

    It reminds me of the 70’s and 80’s when all the Radio Shack Tandy computers used proprietary cables which they protected vehemently – look how well that worked out for them.

  • gerry

    Their’s already a seller on eBay selling non-apple branded lightning connecters for as low as $15

  • Apple can make the hardware accessible to the entire world and there will ALWAYS be some unethical company out there pirating parts, just like the companies that pirate software. You can’t stop it unless you simply refuse to buy it. But, the sad reality is that many people out there think Apple is greedy, and that is why their pricing structure is the way it is. Wow… I can’t imagine anything further from the truth! How many people who whine about spending a few bucks on a cable (or an adapter) have no problems heading to the local pub or bar and spending way too much on a beer or a shot? What is the difference between the bars and Apple? They are both selling a product and they are both in business to make money. There is a demand for their product, and that is what drives prices. It’s a fact of life. Don’t get me started on the “luxury” car companies either!! LOL Apple happens to be the centre of attention at this point in time, but in 10 years, it will be another company. As long as companies (any company) are making high demand products, there will always be people out there whining about the prices!!! Sad reality folks.