Apple will be holding a conference for MFi accessory manufacturers in Shenzen, China on Nov 7-9. The hot topic will be the new Lightning connectors that were introduced with the iPhone 5. Apple has changed its policies regarding accessories and will use the venue to discuss those changes with the industry.
MFi (Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad) is Apple's licensing program for accessories. Manufacturers must be enrolled in this program to gain access to "hardware connectors and components that are required to manufacture iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Airplay audio accessories." Only licensed manufacturers can display the "Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad" or AirPlay logos.
The two and a half day MFi Tech Summit will include a presentation from Apple Retail as well as technical information on designing Lightning accessories, transitioning from analog to digital, wireless technology updates, and changes to the MFi program according to an agenda acquired by 9to5 Mac. Breakout sessions will also be offered on topics such as Accessory Test System (ATS), AirPlay, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.
The new Lightning connectors have been shown to be no ordinary, dumb connector. With Apple having control over the supply of the pins for these connectors, manufacturers will be keen on gaining access to that supply.