Word on the street has it that Apple is set to meet with Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad (MFI) partners in Shenzen, China, between November 7th and 9th. Discussion will center on the Lightning connector guidelines and how Apple will license the technology for third party manufacturers. Currently no third parties are allowed to sell Lightning connectors for the iPhone. We’ve already seen that Apple’s taken a few step to make the cables very difficult to replace.
According to TechCrunch‘s Darrell Etherington, the meeting will also have Apple detailing new rules for the Lightning cable, which could include “Apple’s Lightning pin supply [being] controlled by the company itself, and [Apple] supplies approved MFI partners with production quantities of the pin once their product is determined to have met its standards and specifications.”
As a consumer, I don’t really have a problem with this type of practice. I’d love some protection from garbage third party alternatives that could ruin my $700.00 phone. I know a few people who managed to fry an iPod or iPhone by simply using alternative cables from sketchy retailers on eBay and other websites. However, affordable third party cables that don’t sacrifice quality are also a must. From the sounds of it, we’ll have some alternatives in the near future from some reputable companies.