Update: It’s for audio out support.

Apple this morning released a dock for its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus more than 9 months after the release of the iPhone itself. One notable requirement for the dock that is not listed on its product page, however, is that it apparently requires that the accompanying iPhone run iOS 8.

Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

This requirement is listed in a support document for Apple’s Lightning docks. The document gives no explanation as to why iOS 8 is required, nor does it list if the entire functionality of the dock is lost without iOS 8. But here’s what we’ve found out from sources:

That’s the reason why iOS 8 is “required” for the charging dock, but it also means it shouldn’t be an issue for just charging non-iOS 8 devices. The numerous third-party docks do not have that requirement, so perhaps it’s also an effort by Apple to force users to update to the latest version of iOS.

The new Lightning Charging Dock for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is available for $39 and listed as shipping in 1-3 days.

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