Apple Will Require Approval of All Third-Party Lightning Accessories - Report

Apple to Review All Third-Party Devices for Lightning Infrastructure

by Anton Shilov
10/05/2012 | 04:22 PM

Apple reportedly wants to certify all the third-party devices - from plain cables and chargers to sophisticated docking stations and speakers - for compliance with the new Lightning interconnection technology that the company first implemented in the iPhone. The approval process will likely slowdown emergence of third-party devices for the new smartphone.

 

So far, Apple has not approved any third-party accessories for the new iPhone, but it will require that all factories wanting to manufacturer Lightning accessories must be approved by Apple first, reports Slashgear web-site. It is unclear whether the company wants to certify add-ons only early in the life-cycle of Lightning, or intends to review every single Lightning-compatible device that will feature the new connector for years to come.

The Lightning connector enables new levels of interconnection speeds and can be plugged into the device in either orientation. However, as a researcher found, Apple included a special authentication chip into each Lightning cable to enable dynamic assignment of cable's pins. The authentication chip not only prohibits third-party makers to manufacture Lightning cables for various accessories for the iPhone 5, but naturally makes life of various add-ons for the iPhone/iPad a lot harder since they not only need to learn how does the Lightning work, but also to get the chips from Apple.

The new Lightning cable itself costs $20 from Apple, which points to the fact that Apple does want to earn on add-ons for its gadgets, such as chargers. But the approval process itself does not make money, selling of the authentication chip does. Therefore, the early certification process looks logical, but the one throughout the lifetime of Lightning does not.

Apple did not comment on the news-story.