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Apple won’t let manufacturers sell third-party Lightning dock adapters without their approval

Raymond Wong
October 3rd, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Apple’s (AAPL) new Lightning cable isn’t easily cloned because it contains a special microchip that’s difficult to reverse-engineer. And according to iLounge, Apple has now changed its policies to only allow Apple-approved facilities to manufacture third-party Lightning connector accessories. iLounge’s source says Apple is planning a special seminar to take place in China this fall that interested parties must attend before they can begin producing and releasing Lightning accessories starting in November under the careful watch of Apple.

Apple’s decision to ditch the 30-pin connector used in all previous iOS devices has been controversial since its debut in the iPhone 5. Apple said it needed to change the design in order to get the iPhone 5 to a 7.6mm thickness. Customers haven’t been happy with the switch for reasons including incompatibility with old docks and accessories, the unavailability of third-party Lightning cables that cost less than the official $19 cable Apple sells, and the delayed Lightning to 30-pin adapter.

Tech pundits have also panned the new connector over the fact that it still transfers data at USB 2.0 speeds and not USB 3.0. Lightning does have a upside, though: it’s reversible, meaning it can be plugged in any way.

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