We reported earlier this month that part of the reason iPhone 5 owners haven't seen any third-party Lightning accessories just yet is because of new restrictions Apple put into place for its accessory licensing program. It appears that logjam will start moving in just a few weeks, with 9to5Mac reporting that Cupertino's next summit for accessory makers will be happening between November 7th and 9th in Shenzhen, China.
The MFi Technology Summit — MFi stands for Made for iPod / iPhone / iPad — is an opportunity for Apple to discuss the specifications and technologies needed for licensees building iOS and iPod accessories. This year presents an interesting quandary, however. Apple has put into place several new limitations on the program that have prevented manufacturers from creating Lightning accessories until they could be brought up to speed on the new details — but this summit will be their first opportunity to do so, despite the fact that the iPhone 5 was released in September. While one of the presentations on the first day is titled "Designing Lightning accessories," that's likely of little comfort to those Apple device owners wondering why new accessories haven't yet arrived.
Last year, the MFi Technology Summit actually took place a month later in December, with the accelerated date this year giving the distinct impression that Apple knows it's up against the wall, and wants to make sure third-party accessories are ready and in stores for the holiday season. Still, Cupertino isn't giving manufacturers much time — but a little progress is better than no progress at all.