We’re now hearing from a source close to Apple’s accessory manufacturing partner that the company plans to hold a conference in Shenzen, China for its Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad (MFI) program partners on November 7 and 8, similar to the one it held last year between December 7-9 when it expanded the MFI program to promote adoption of new AirPlay and Bluetooth standards. We’re also hearing that Apple will strictly regulate sales of Lightning connectors for MFI partners, and that the cost per part for those components, while not unreasonable, is fairly high compared to other widely-available standards like USB.
Accessory makers have complained that they won't be able to get approved in time to produce new products for the holiday shopping season. Apple has also made it harder for unapproved accessory makers to duplicate the connector by including four embedded chips, one of which provides some security features. Despite these measures, at least one company claims to have cracked Apple's authentication for the Lightning connector.
9to5Mac got a hold of the schedule: