RIP, iPhone dongles? Apple approves Lightning-to-3.5mm cable spec
Mar 13 2018 by Joanne Wise
Apple's Made-for-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) licensing program is being updated with new branding that manufacturers will have to adopt over the coming months.
What the new MFi specifications mean (as first reported by 9to5Mac) is that you'll be able to continue using wired headphones with your iPhone without having to use an unsightly dongle - you'll just plug a single cable between your headphones and your phone, like in the good old days.
Notably, Apple similarly started letting companies use its own Lightning port receptacle on MFi accessories a few years back and many Made-for-iPhone chargers, docks, game controllers and other products have adopted it since. Therefore, third-party manufactures using MFi logos without official authorization from Apple will face great legal risks. That is one of the reasons Apple has added specs for other non proprietary connectors in the past such as the Ultra Accessory Connector for headphone makers previous year.
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Companies that are a part of the MFi program can add USB-C receptacles on officially certified Mac and iOS accessories for charging. They can also use the USB port on their Mac with the same cable to charge their Apple device. When it comes to use cases for the specific 3.5mm to lightning cable, the cord could be utilized with standard 3.5mm headphones, as well as with speakers that include a standard aux input.
Products can include USB-C cables with the MFi accessories but manufacturers may not put an adapter or a cable and do some cost savings instead. This allows the users to directly connect their iPhones without requiring one of Apple's 3.5mm dongles through the Lighting. The new cable would improve the user experience from an audio perspective and add more durability to the entire product.