Last month, Apple disrupted the huge economy of iPhone and iPod accessory makers by deciding to switch up the charging port on its mobile devices.And it’s frustrating manufacturers and consumers by taking longer than usual to approve new, compatible accessories.
This is a big deal that could hurt sales of Apple’s newest devices.
Just as the vast number of apps available for the iPhone have made it appealing to consumers, so has the ready availability of cases, cables, docks, and other hardware add-ons.
Apple changed the port from the familiar 30-pin design to a completely new style called Lightning.
Third-party retailers have already come out with cables that look like Lightning connectors. Don’t buy them. They won’t work because there is proprietary technology inside of the cables that only Apple has access to. It’s in the process of licensing it, but right now there are no authorised Lightning cables on the market.
Going back a decade, Apple has required suppliers to meet requirements to develop products compatible with its devices. That program’s known as “Made For iPod/iPhone/iPad”, or MFi. So there’s no inherent surprise here.
But because Apple kept Lightning under wraps until it unveiled the new iPods and iPhone 5 on Sep. 12, and because the company has tightened up some requirements with the new connector, it’s taking longer for accessories to hit the market.
Slashgear is reporting that Apple hasn’t approved any third-party manufacturers yet.
And it may take longer yet. iLounge says Apple is planning to hold an MFi seminar to discuss changes to the licensing program in November.