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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:23 PM   #1
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Apple's Strict Requirements for Its Third-Party Lightning Accessory Program Detailed




iPhone battery case maker Mophie, which recently announced the first battery case for the iPhone 5, explained some of the unique actions that Apple takes to lock down its Lightning connector to the New York Times.

In order to only allow authorized connectors to connect to new iPhone and iPad models, Apple includes a serialized authentication chip in the connectors it sells to companies in its "Made For iPhone/iPod/iPad" or MFi program. If a company sells those Lightning connectors to another company, Apple can determine that it came from a particular MFi member.

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"If you took this apart and put it in another product and Apple got a hold of it, they'd be able to see it's from Mophie's batch of Lightning connectors," said Ross Howe, vice president of marketing for Mophie.

The chip inside the Lightning connector can be reverse engineered -- copied by another company -- but it probably would not work as well as one that came from Apple, Mr. Howe said. Apple could also theoretically issue software updates that would disable Lightning products that did not use its chips, he said.
iPhone accessories are a multi-million dollar business and Apple wants to ensure that users have the best experience possible by only allowing approved third-party accessories to be used with new iOS devices. This strategy has the side-effect of making accessories more expensive because companies are required to pay a licensing fee to Apple to be part of the MFi program. Some companies, like Monoprice and Amazon, offer cheaper connectors that are approved by Apple.

Article Link: Apple's Strict Requirements for Its Third-Party Lightning Accessory Program Detailed
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:28 PM   #2
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Epic stuff.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:28 PM   #3
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DRM, meet the most basic, necessary and simple (well, not any more) thing: the cable.

I get the need for the smaller cable, I don't get the need for the chip: why can't USB (or a cable that uses a different shape USB) be enough to charge and sync the device? 4 pins, and no chip.

If you want more fancy features like docks and cars, THEN use the expensive cable. They could make 2 cables, one which is only for charging and syncing and pretty much perfect for almost everyone, and one special, expensive one for the few people who want fancy features.

For 99% of people, all they want is to charge their device and sync a few songs onto it every once in a while. What's the big deal??

It's like forcing everyone to buy a car when all they need is a bike.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by baryon View Post

It's like forcing everyone to buy a car when all they need is a bike.
You clearly don't get Apple. They want to make it as simple as possible. Two cables that do different things but look the same would be confusing. That is why Apple made sure the Thunderbolt cable looks different than the minidisplayport cable......

Or the thunderbolt display looks different than the ACD.....

You know Apple is PISSED that USB 3.0 looks identical to USB 2.0.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:44 PM   #5
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Now, that's innovation. If only that much effort went on iDevices, it would be great!
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ToomeyND View Post
You know Apple is PISSED that USB 3.0 looks identical to USB 2.0.
Why does that matter? USB 3.0 and 2.0 are backwards compatible.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 04:08 PM   #7
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Why does that matter? USB 3.0 and 2.0 are backwards compatible.
They are probably PISSED about that too.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 04:19 PM   #8
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Right.

I don't how we survived all those decades with "dumb" RS232 DB9 and DB25 connectors. It's a wonder we were able to print ANYTHING with Centronics or card-edge connections without an Connector Overlord.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 08:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ToomeyND View Post
You know Apple is PISSED that USB 3.0 looks identical to USB 2.0.
This is especially amusing, because Apple broke the USB spec with amperage that the iPhone/iPad draw when charging.

I believe that 2.1a is still non-standard for USB 3.0.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 08:20 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=ToomeyND;16848758]You clearly don't get Apple. They want to make it as simple as possible. Two cables that do different things but look the same would be confusing. That is why Apple made sure the Thunderbolt cable looks different than the minidisplayport cable......

MiniDisplay Port meet Thunderbolt.

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Originally Posted by ToomeyND View Post
You know Apple is PISSED that USB 3.0 looks identical to USB 2.0.
You have no idea if that is that is true and is nothing more than speculation on your part.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 10:57 AM   #11
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You have no idea if that is that is true and is nothing more than speculation on your part.
100% agreed that this is speculation. What's the issue? Do you even doubt what I wrote? Pretty sure everything that makes this site possible is speculation.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 05:22 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by baryon View Post
For 99% of people, all they want is to charge their device and sync a few songs onto it every once in a while. What's the big deal??

It's like forcing everyone to buy a car when all they need is a bike.
You're forgetting one simple thing: Apple is the antithesis to choice.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 06:40 PM   #13
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You're forgetting one simple thing: Apple is the antithesis to choice.
Choice is confusing.
Imagine the confusione that would ensue if one had to choose between two different size phones.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 02:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by baryon View Post
I don't get the need for the chip: why can't USB (or a cable that uses a different shape USB) be enough to charge and sync the device? 4 pins, and no chip.

If you want more fancy features like docks and cars, THEN use the expensive cable. They could make 2 cables, one which is only for charging and syncing
what youre sugesting (apple releasing *two* different Lightning cabels/specs) would only add mass confusion to average consumers. my dad would have NO IDEA which sort of cable to get...and imagine your frustration when you want to hook in to a smart device (something which supports external displays, tap zones, etc) but realize you only have the charging-only cable with you.

apple focuses on simplfying things, not complicating them. one cable.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 03:48 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mdelvecchio View Post
what youre sugesting (apple releasing *two* different Lightning cabels/specs) would only add mass confusion to average consumers. my dad would have NO IDEA which sort of cable to get...and imagine your frustration when you want to hook in to a smart device (something which supports external displays, tap zones, etc) but realize you only have the charging-only cable with you.

apple focuses on simplfying things, not complicating them. one cable.
Apple already does make a "Power Only" Lightning connector. It's one of the 4 configurations of the connector available for MFi partners to buy.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 05:29 PM   #16
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Apple already does make a "Power Only" Lightning connector. It's one of the 4 configurations of the connector available for MFi partners to buy.
where is this? can you link us to it? i havent seen one of these charging-only lightning cables.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 05:34 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mdelvecchio View Post
where is this? can you link us to it? i havent seen one of these charging-only lightning cables.
I'm not talking about any charging-only cables, I'm talking about the actual Lightning connector available from Apple to MFi partners. The connectors themselves have no data connection through them to the outside world, just the internal comms with the iDevice, and only charge current passes through.

As far as if any cables using those connectors are out there in the world, I have no idea.

Sorry, I can't link to the connector, under NDA. (On the MFi program.)
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:29 PM   #18
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"iPhone accessories are a multi-million dollar business and Apple wants to ensure that users have the best experience possible by only allowing approved third-party accessories to be used with new iOS devices."

Somehow the phrase before the conjunction makes more sense than the one after.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:30 PM   #19
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Apple wants to charge top dollar for these cables and squeeze out the third parties ability to sell them.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 04:49 PM   #20
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Apple wants to charge top dollar for these cables and squeeze out the third parties ability to sell them.
Obviously not true seeing as they aren't stopping Chinese manufacturers from making cheap clones nor are they stopping Amazon from making their version of the cable.

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You mean Intel's invention Apple's money.
You're talking about Thunderbolt (formerly Light Peak) which is in computers. Jesus, some people just shouldn't be allowed to comment or have an actual opinion.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 05:32 PM   #21
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squeeze?

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Apple wants to charge top dollar for these cables and squeeze out the third parties ability to sell them.
Since it was previously reported by some component manufacturers that Apple is in fact charging them costs/chip that is very very near zero margin for lightning chips, how does that jive with your theory?

I think it's more so that they want to make sure only quality components come out.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 05:42 PM   #22
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Since it was previously reported by some component manufacturers that Apple is in fact charging them costs/chip that is very very near zero margin for lightning chips, how does that jive with your theory?

I think it's more so that they want to make sure only quality components come out.
Why should companies have to license from Apple to begin with, these things should be open to all developers. Apple wants people to pay top dollar from them not 3rd party manufacturers. This is Apples new marketing plan. Why else did they invent lightening cables to begin with, micro usb would do the same thing for cheaper.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtualball View Post
Obviously not true seeing as they aren't stopping Chinese manufacturers from making cheap clones nor are they stopping Amazon from making their version of the cable.



You're talking about Thunderbolt (formerly Light Peak) which is in computers. Jesus, some people just shouldn't be allowed to comment or have an actual opinion.
Amazon has to license from Apple, they are not just making cables on their own. What do you think these cables are, they are not industry standard like USB, they are Apple making money.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 07:50 PM   #23
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Apple wants to charge top dollar for these cables and squeeze out the third parties ability to sell them.
Agreed and they are just greedy when it comes to making the most they can and squeezing the most out of us. Tell me home much a cable will make or break a user experience? It is just their greed to make as much as possible, only loser is the consumer if you ask me.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:31 PM   #24
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and you wonder why apple dropped off the most respected company perch. their insincerity has bubbled up to the surface....
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technolog...port-says.html
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:31 PM   #25
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The best experience would have been without the six month gap with no accessories (and still no docks, massively high prices and few battery backs).

Apple's attempt to fleece this market has harmed customers.
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