Maybe you’re one of the millions of people who just picked up a brand new Apple Watch or possibly an iPhone. Maybe you’re one of those millions of people who looked at the included charger for the Apple Watch and raised an eyebrow. Or maybe you picked up the latest iPhone and found the same boring Apple EarPods packed in the box. You would think, with the amount of money these devices cost, Apple would at the very least provide some kick butt accessories with its products. But it doesn’t and here’s why.
MFi certification is Apple’s way of certifying that a third-party accessory of electronic nature works properly with Apple products. Apple charges companies a lot of money to get MFi certified and it reflects in the prices those companies charge. For example, a charge case made for the Samsung Galaxy S6 by ACME Company (not a real accessory company) costs $29.99 while the same exact case built for the iPhone 6 cost $39.99. The up charge for most Apple product accessories is in the MFi fees, the seller passes that cost on to the consumer and Apple is making out like a bandit.
This is exactly why Apple doesn’t include a nice charging dock for the Apple Watch or a nice set of Beats earbuds for the Apple iPhone. There is more money to be made with third party vendors than there is packaging something nice into the product itself. While this has fostered a huge lucrative third party accessory market and Apple would likely take the defense that it has helped create jobs by implementing MFi certification. I think these third party makers would still be around and able to make money if MFi wasn’t in existence.
While you can purchase many non-certified cheap accessories for Apple products, if Apple finds out you used those accessories you could void your warranty and rights to service. Many of these vendors get the MFi certification because if they don’t, they would be left holding the bag if something bad went wrong with their product and were sued. Apple at least takes on some of the responsibility if something goes wrong with an MFi certified accessory.
What do you think of Apple’s MFi certification? Do you think Apple could still package in higher quality accessories with their products AND still have the program with third party accessory makers? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.