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What does Apple mean MFi certified?



  An iPhone charged with an MFi-certified Lightning cable.
charnstir / Shutterstock

If you've ever bought a new Lightning cable or gamepad, you've probably noticed that many are MFi-certified. You may also have noticed that certified products cost a bit more. This is what MFi certification means ̵

1; and why you want it.

MFi Certification is the "Apple Tax"

Sure, many iPhone, iPad and Mac accessories are expensive. Whatever the reason, you should not buy extremely cheap, non-certified cables and accessories for your Apple devices, as they ultimately cost more than the overpriced alternatives.

Why? Well, of course, because they are not MFi certified!

MFi (Made for iPod) certification was introduced back in 2005 to make sure that iPods (with their bulky 30-pin connectors) are compatible with all accessories and chargers. Remember, there was a time when everything from alarm clocks to cars had integrated 30-pin connections. To get the MFi certification and promote products for the iPod, manufacturers had to go through the Apple conformance tests. These tests tested safety (overheating), durability, accessory compatibility, and headset jack control. The manufacturers had to pay Apple royalties, if you ask yourself.

The MFi certification process is virtually the same today. Manufacturers perform their iPad and iPhone accessories (flash cables, gamepads, Bluetooth controllers, etc.) through compliance and security tests, pay Apple royalties, and receive a "Made for iPhone" badge on their product packaging. In the end, people get reliable products, manufacturers can buy MFi licenses and Apple gets extra money. Every Lightning connector on an MFI-certified cable or other device has a tiny authentication chip so your device knows it's an MFi-certified accessory.

Why is not certified Apple Accessories so bad?

Let's get rid of something: not all non-certified Apple accessories are necessarily bad. If you have a non-certified gamepad or headset that works like a dream, that's great! In general, non-certified Apple accessories – especially charging cables – are trash.

A quick look at Apple's Fake Manual is enough to understand this. Apple accessories, such as Lightning cables are set to ultraspecific standards. They are manufactured in uniform sizes with uniform Made for Ipod components with smooth, perfectly distributed contacts. Unlike USB cables, all Lightning cables must be identical.

  Two Lightning cables. One is clearly made with better materials than the other. The rough appearance is not MFi certified.
The Lightning cable on the left is MFi certified. The cable on the right is not. Apple

If lightning cables do not meet these criteria, they may be conducting power incorrectly or storing heat. You can wiggle in the charging port of an iPhone or iPad. If you're lucky, they can break or overheat in front of your Apple device.

For other accessories, such as wireless gamepads and headphones, the name of the game is simply compatible. You should expect this accessory to work properly in every situation. If there is a skip title button, it should work properly. If you're switching from an iPhone 8 to an iPhone 10, your accessories should continue to work.

Oh no! My new iPhone case is not MFi certified!

Do not worry. Some Apple accessories do not need to be MFi certified. Mobile phone cases, analog gamepads, and pens that are not connected to your Apple device (or Lightning cable) do not require MFi certification.

Accessories using Low Energy Bluetooth are also excluded from the MFi program It is difficult to say when an accessory fits this category. In general, you can expect trackers (like the Tile), hybrid smartwatches (like the Skagen Hagen), and some Bluetooth medical devices to use Low Energy Bluetooth.

How to Check if a Charger or Accessory is MFi Certified [19659005] It is relatively easy to test an MFi certification charger or accessory. If the product packaging has a "Made for iPhone" or "Made for iPad" badge, you can usually trust that the product is MFi-certified. If you have discarded the packaging, you can look it up on Google or Amazon.

Can you "normally" trust that a product with an Apple logo is MFi-certified? Is not that a problem? Yes, my friend, that's a serious problem.

 The

While Apple's intensive and selective certification process is beneficial for ensuring quality and reliability, companies are also encouraged to make fake MFi products. For this reason, Apple offers on its website a handy MFi search engine and a guide to counterfeiting. If you are not sure about the authenticity of a product, check it on the search engine or compare it to Apple's fake manual (a brief summary of the manual: products that look like crap are not MFi-certified).

Of course, just connect the charger or accessory to your Apple device and see what happens. If non-certified devices are connected to iPhones or iPads, a notification will appear that uncertified devices may not work reliably with your device. This notification is sometimes a mistake. So do not take it to heart if your Apple charging cable, which normally works properly, displays the notification from scratch.

What happens to MFi when Apple switches to USB-C? [19659005] As you may know, Apple's new iPads and MacBooks have USB-C ports instead of Lightning ports. There is also a good chance that the next iPhone will have a USB-C port. What happens to the MFi program?

Well, immediately there are no MFi certified USB cables (except USB-C and Lightning cables). In addition, the Apple website does not mention certified or licensed USB-C cables.

This may not mean much, but USB-C becomes the first choice for wired headphones and an alternative to HDMI (along with other) cable accessories). It's possible that MFi will expire as USB-C becomes more ubiquitous, or that the program will shift its focus to wireless and peripheral iPhone and iPad accessories. It's difficult to say. At the moment we just know that the MFi certification is a quality feature.

While Apple's actions may take control, you should look at the situation with "non-compliant" USB-C cables to understand how useful the MFi program is. [19659006] RELATED: Watch Out: How To Buy A Type C USB Cable That Will Not Damage Your Devices


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