Apple granted 46 patents today including Lightning Audio Connector

“The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 46 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple. “In this particular report we cover we focus on two of the most outstanding granted patents issued today covering Touch ID and Apple’s future Lightning based audio connector.”

“Apple has been granted a patent today for their invention relating to connectors such as audio connectors and data connectors and in particular to low profile audio connectors and data connectors that can be used in place of standard audio connectors currently used,” Purcher reports. “Apple’s invention is designed to replace today’s TRS styled audio plug connectors with a lighting styled audio connector for future EarPods and even Beats-styled headphones.”

“This is a part of their MFi Program,” Purcher reports. “It was reported by The Verge in September that Philips is the first to introduce headphones using Apple’s Lighting connector.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple allows third-party products use its Lightning port, opening up new possibilities for accessories – November 18, 2014
Why Apple may axe the 3.5mm headphone jack – June 20, 2014
Apple may ditch analog 3.5mm headphone jack for Lightning to make thinner devices – June 6, 2014
Apple introduces MFi specs for Lightning cable headphones, iOS software update to deliver support – June 5, 2014
Apple preps HD audio for iOS 8 plus new Apple In-Ear Headphones and lightning cable – May 13, 2014
Apple patents biometric sensor-packed health monitoring earphones with ‘head gesture’ control – February 18, 2014
Apple paves way for more affordable iOS accessories with lower MFi and Lightning licensing fees – February 7, 2014


  1. lighting styled audio connector…
    Apple’s Lighting connector.”

    Lightening connector” was, I assume, the intended term. Or perhaps Apple intends to have its connectors glow with LED lights, or use optical cable instead of electrical cable…

    1. What’s the point? Unless you spend hundreds of dollars/pounds on high-end multi-driver IEM’s, you’re never going to hear any difference over either Lossless or even 320Kb AAC files.
      I’ve got lossless files and 320Kb files of the same songs, (original downloads and smaller files for portability), and I’ve compared them back-to-back on my phone using a pair of UE TripleFi 10 Studio IEM’s, which are a mid priced monitor at around $350-450, and I couldn’t distinguish any significant difference between the files.
      Anyone who imagines that ‘Hi-Def’ Audio is going to make a startling difference to their music, is, in my humble opinion, really deluding themselves.
      Spend $1000 on a pair of high end UE/Westone/Shure IEM’s, and you *might*, possibly, hear an improvement, but you’ve just proved you’ve got more money than sense by spending an insane amount of money for no appreciable advantage.

  2. With Apples loss in the EU supreme court this could be a new life for Lighting. I believe it’s next year that Apple has to start using mini USB and not just free adapters like they have been. I don’t think they will make phones just for the EU. Audio could use new connection tech. Most of it comes from mid 20th century.

    1. Apple aren’t affected by the ruling, as they already comply by using cables with a USB connector. The device end isn’t covered, as any manufacturer can chose to use any one of a number of mini/micro USB connectors which aren’t compatible with what other manufacturers use.
      The ruling is designed to eliminate wastage by making all charging devices common by having a standard USB port.

      1. This was on MDN earlier this year or late last, sorry I don’t remember the exact date. Apple has been giving away a free connector for a few years while arguing in the EU courts that was enough to stay within the law. Apple lost the case in the EU supreme cour and was told they had to have the same connection as everyone else. The law is not about the charger, it is about the connection. MDN had several stories about the case through the years it was going on.

  3. OK. I did a little digging. It is 2017 that everyone must use mini USB, not 2015. Apple has been giving the adapter for free in the EU for about 2 years. I was trying to find the article that the EU said it was not good enough after 2017, but couldn’t. I do hope that is all Apple is required to do, Lightning is a lot better than mine USB. I hope the new audio part of Lightning can be used for more than just headphones or speakers. Better microphones would be great, especially for video. I can only find one place online that sell an adapter so I can use a good microphone with my iPhone.

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