More Power to You
Apple surprised a lot of promotional product suppliers and distributors last year when it sent cease-and-desist letters to suppliers, informing them that it owned the rights to the Apple 8- and 30-pin adapters, and threatened legal action if they continued to sell the unauthorized products. Many suppliers quickly pulled the offending items, and distributors avoided selling any remaining stock. It wasn’t clear how—and even if—iPhone accessories would return to the promotional products industry.
However, suppliers soon put the wheels in motion, paying Apple the required royalties and getting their factories certified through Apple’s MFi program (Made for iPhone, iPad and iPod)—yet another certification clients will be asking about.
Now, suppliers are unveiling (or in the process of preparing) their new lines of MFi products. We spoke to two industry suppliers—PSL USA Inc. and TomaxUSA.com, both of City of Industry, Calif.—about MFi certifications, and the latest trends and needed features for chargers and power banks.
Get MFi certified
While PSL USA Inc. will launch its MFi line in 2016, TomaxUSA.com started adding items, like the standard Apple Lightning Cable (8-pin), earlier this year. It then added the Apple Lightning Plus Micro-USB Cable last month, and now offers a few gift sets that include the standard cable. Before the holiday season rolls around, TomaxUSA.com expects to release its “octopus” charger, which has two micro-USB connectors, a mini-USB connector and a certified 8-pin connector that plugs into the main charger via a USB. “Apple has this policy,” Jason Jen, sales and marketing manager for TomaxUSA.com, said. “[The 8-pin] has to be a separate attachment in order for them to be incorporated with or involved with micro-USB tips, so it will plug into the base just as the other ones, but that one can actually be unplugged, so it’s separate as well.”