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Apple is letting companies make 3.5mm to Lightning cables

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Introduction (which main devices use these cables)

Following the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack on the Apple’s iPhone 8 and X, users without Bluetooth headphones were forced to either pay up for Apple’s Ear Buds or purchase a new pair of Bluetooth headphones. For a lot of who users who already had their favourite headphones and did not want to purchase a new pair, this is a hassle. So, Apple put on to the market 3.5mm to Lightning cable adaptors so people could use their 3.5mm headphones with the iPhone 8 and X.

Now, Apple is allowing third-party manufacturers to design their own 3.5mm to Lightning cables that have the MFI label on them. MFI stands for Made for iPod, iPhone and iPad, basically, a certification that Apple approves of this peripheral device. The MFI label appears on the box of accessories, so you know when you buy something it is certified by Apple.

Benefits and Advantages


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Having a 3.5mm to Lightning cable means that you can use your old headphones or continue using a 3.5mm output to listen to music. Some people might not like the idea of Apple’s little Ear Buds as they can be easily lost, or they might like the traditional cable more for some reason. Using a 3.5mm to Lightning cable keeps you able to purchase whatever headphones you want, whatever brand you want without having to pay more or sacrifice sound quality for compatibility.

What Apple MFI means

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MFI, or Made for iPod, iPhone and iPad means that the accessory comes with Apple’s approval and certification. It is an accessory that you can trust not to harm your device and that you can use it without a worry that it will cause issues or void your warranty.

There are many MFI accessories available, not just with the 3.5mm to Lightning cables. These products include chargers, speakers, docks and adaptors. As with all products, there can also be problems with uncertified and counterfeit accessories. If you know what you are looking for when trying to spot a counterfeit or uncertified accessory, then you can always be sure you have the best product available for your Apple product.

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How to identify counterfeit of uncertified Lightning connector accessories

To start with, the 3.5mm to Lightning cable will be made to Apple’s standards. With a certified accessory, the Lightning piece will be a smooth, single piece with rounded contact, the width and length will be 7.7mm x 12mm, and the faceplate will be grey/metallic in colour.

A counterfeit Lightning connector will be made with more than on a piece of material, have an inconsistent and dodgy looking surface, varying in width, length and thickness compared to Apple’s standard sizing, and there is likely to be a black or white faceplate insert.

A recommendation when buying Apple accessory is to buy them from an Apple store or from a reputable seller. Purchasing your accessory from somewhere that you can trust will help you be sure than your accessory is 100% Apple certified and will cause any harm to your iPhone, iPad or iPod.

Paschal Okafor is NaijaTechGuide Team Lead. The article Apple is letting companies make 3.5mm to Lightning cables was written by Noman Asghar. The article was last modified: April 29th, 2018

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