By Stephen Schenck | February 7, 2014 5:59 PM
Apple’s Lightning cable, if nothing else, is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it’s compact and its two-sided design makes connection a breeze. On the other hand, it breaks compatibility with older accessories and introduces a troubling authentication scheme, allowing it to distinguish Apple-certified cables from others. Shoppers looking to pick up the genuine article have been able to rely on Apple’s MFi program, confident that such products won’t cause them any problems. The problem there has been that MFi licensing costs end up being passed on the consumer, making such cables and accessories more expensive. Luckily for iOS users, we could soon hope to see prices drop a little, as Apple makes a few changes to MFi certification.
For one, Apple’s reported lowered licensing fees, cutting rates beginning last month. Additionally, it’s said to be accepting smaller orders for the Lightning connector itself; forcing companies to buy in bulk in the past may have also contributed to higher prices for consumers, especially with startups or crowdsourced campaigns that just didn’t see really high volume.
Understandably, it may take a little while before these changes trickle down and influence cable and accessory pricing, but it sure sounds like a step in the right direction.