Apple Lowers Licensing Costs for Lightning Cables and Other MFi Accessories

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Last month, Apple reportedly reduced the licensing costs for accessory manufacturers who are producing official gear for the iPhone, iPad or iPod. According to Mac Otakara, this reduction applies to Lightning cables as well as other accessories that are part of Apple's MFi (Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad) Program.

    Made for iPod (MFi) was launched in 2005 as a licensing and quality control program that allowed iPod accessory makers to ship their products with an Apple-approved "Made for iPod" label. At launch, Apple reportedly charged companies that wanted to participate in this program a 10% fee based on the wholesale cost of the device.

    Apple expanded its MFi Program to include the iPhone and iPad as those devices were added to the company's product portfolio, with Apple's Lightning cable introduced last in 2012 falling under the program's guidelines due to the serialized authentication chip embedded in the connectors. At last year's Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple again extended the licensing to include game controllers for iOS devices.

    Those game controllers have generally arrived with higher pricing than expected by consumers, with some of the blame for pricing and quality issues being placed on Apple's requirements administered through the MFi Program. One high-profile controller, the SteelSeries Stratus, did, however, see a $20 price cut in the few weeks between announcement and launch last month, and while a cut to MFi licensing fees undoubtedly would not have accounted for the entire price drop, it may have given SteelSeries a bit of flexibility to make its pricing more competitive.

    Beyond licensing and technical requirements, Apple allegedly also requires manufacturers in the MFi Program to agree to the company's supplier responsibility code. This code takes steps to ensure that employees have access to safe working conditions and requires companies to submit to inspections that ensure compliance with Apple's Code of Conduct.

    Article Link: Apple Lowers Licensing Costs for Lightning Cables and Other MFi Accessories
  2. Jsameds macrumors 68030

    Apr 22, 2008
    Can they please drop the price of the cables too? £15+P&P is nothing short of extortion! :mad:

    I've just checked their site and the old dock connector cable has free shipping, but the lightning cable adds £4 for delivery! How can they justify that?!
  3. jayducharme macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    I hope they follow suit by lowering the licensing cost of Thunderbolt as well. Very few companies are bothering with TBolt accessories right now.
  4. applesith macrumors 68020


    Jun 11, 2007
    They need to lower Thunderbolt costs. Accessories are a joke and this is turning into Firewire all over again.

    Why is Apple able to create shifts in the industry with iPhones and iPads but can't even make a half butt attempt to start a new connection standard?
  5. Supermule macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2012
    I hope it will benefit the consumers (us) and not just the suppliers.
  6. jm1.jonas macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2010
    Apple and Intel should do the same with Thunderbolt, it's a great technology but the prices are absurd, a TB Hub is super expensive, a TB external hard Drive is super expensive, they're much better then USB (my mbp only has usb2 and TB1) but the price is way too high...
  7. perealb macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2009
    So what's the new fee? Kudos to Apple for what's behind their intention on creating the MFi program but 10% on the wholesale cost seems really high.
  8. carjakester macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
    you should be able to get a 3 pack of these cables for 30 dollars, pricing is ridiculous.
  9. Michael73 macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    Clearly Apple needs to strike a balance between ensuring that accessories that bear the mark of compatibility remain of a certain quality and that suppliers adhere to the supplier responsibility code on one hand and lowering the license fees so that these products find their way into more hands and become ubiquitous on the other. I, like other posters, would like to see Thunderbolt cables and accessories become more numerous fo' shizzle but that isn't going to happen until licensing costs and overall product pricing drops.
  10. robjulo macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2010
    Especially given the quality. We've replaced three cables in the last six months.
  11. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    People just need to take care of them. :rolleyes: I still have my iPod Nano's one. The iPad Mini's was the one that came apart, because they're much thicker.

    Heck, I still have my cable from my original iPod 3rd generation from 2003. Can't use it on my newer Macs, but hey, still works!
  12. carjakester macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
    People taking care of them has nothing to do with the cost, i need one for my room, my desk, my car, and my living room. Spending 100 dollars on that is insane.
  13. ksnell macrumors 6502


    Aug 26, 2012
  14. MellowFuzz macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2013
    Because they don't understand that you don't make money up-front from setting standards; you make it on the back-end.
  15. Mustafa macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2003
    Shenfield, Essex, UK
    Is this what's been holding up the iPhone 5 version of the Røde iXY? Hopefully we'll see it soon.
  16. numlock macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2006
    they dont need to justify do they? you and others already took the bait and they can do as they please

    so the quality has dipped?

    regardless of how people take care of their cables the poster you quoted is right. for that price you should get more than 1
  17. Jsameds macrumors 68030

    Apr 22, 2008
    Nope, I refuse flat out to pay that for a cable so I get mine from the pound store. I love Apple but they can stick their lightning cables where the sun don't shine.
  18. numlock macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2006
    understand. some dont know where else they can buy so im sure they are decently happy with margin they get on these cables
  19. iamkarlp macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2008
    You misinterpret the market.

    Thunderbolt isn't a niche product because of it's pricing. It's a niche product because there is no longer much general public need for external connectivity beyond low I/O throughput tasks. The pricing simply reflects that.

    Most of the things that the General Market uses are those which fit firmly into the area for which USB excels at. Examples of these items run the gamut from a mouse, to a printer, to that weird thing you bought on eBay. In brief, anything which needs less than 30~ Mbit/s and less than 500/900mA of power is probably better suited to USB than Thunderbolt - which encompasses an awful lot (most, in fact) of things.

    Even where thunderbolt's advantages could effect the general consumer, namely storage services including external drives and/or USB, most of those people don't care enough that they would spend 2$ more, muchness 50~100$ more.

    No, thunderbolt exists because in the future, which we are already partially living in, where there is not enough general consumer demand to support machines with hardware PCIe slots (or at least, not enough of them for the odd case). Thunderbolt allows Apple (and hopefully in time the rest of the PC Industry) to continue offering products to the people who need a ton of PCIe connectivity, even when the market for it inevitably becomes to commercially support.

    I think thunderbolt is doing quite well frankly.

    Karl P
  20. rodriguise macrumors member


    May 6, 2011
    Sparks, NV
    Anti-trust charges should be brought against apple for then MFi program. It's horrible and prevents innovation in that space. The cost of entry is ridiculous.
  21. PracticalMac macrumors 68030


    Jan 22, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Not everything Apple makes has to have massive profits attached.

    Just makes it hard for Apple fans to justify, and give Apple detractors more to complain about.
  22. LordJohnWhorfin macrumors regular

    May 28, 2002
    I'm with you. I've been buying my Ligtning cables on ebay direct from China, at under $1 per cable, and they work just as well as the $30 cables, plus they offer options (different colors, 10ft length) not available from Apple.
  23. elgrecomac, Feb 7, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014

    elgrecomac macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2008
    San Diego
    Hello eBay

    I've bought several knock off cables off of eBay for a fraction of Apples extortion-like prices and they work just fine.
    Hell, Apple changed cable formats, put a special chip inside making copies harder to make and then charged $29 for a meter long wire with to connectors. I say, Brilliant!
  24. Smartass macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2012
    And they'll keep on doing this untill people stop buyin their cables. Like it or not.
  25. danielsutton macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    I believe that Thunderbolt is a technology that was created by Intel, not Apple. Apple is just the first company to use it commercially...

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