Cheaper iPhone MFi and Lightning Accessories Reportedly On the Way
If there’s one thing you might know about iPhone and iPad accessories, it’s that they’re not cheap. Even third-party manufacturers can’t get the prices down, but that could soon change as Mac Otakara is reporting that Apple has lowered the licensing fees for third-parties and other accessory makers that make official gaming controllers and Lightning accessories for the iPhone and iPad.
Apple’s licensing fees are said to be rather expensive, and many manufacturers have yet to step in to make iOS accessories due to the steep fees that they’ll have to pay. This is partly the reason why MFi gaming controllers are rather expensive, with the cheapest ones costing around $80, compared to the $60 that an Xbox One or PS4 controller costs.
Third-party Lightning cables also aren’t as cheap as their older brethren (30-pin cables). Granted, you can get third-party cable for cheaper than what they cost directly from Apple, but the difference isn’t much. For example, Amazon’s own Lightning cable still costs $14, whereas in the past you could get 30-pin cables for just a couple of dollars.
As for gaming controllers, Moga and Logitech have Lightning-equipped models that allow iPhone owners to clip in their devices and start playing, while SteelSeries has a Bluetooth controller that can be used with an iPad. Reception hasn’t been great, though, with many folks saying that they’re overpriced and the quality isn’t too great.
And of course, we have to take rumors like this with a grain of salt, especially from sources that are in different languages, as details can get lost in translation. However, it would certainly make sense for Apple to drop its licensing fees slightly in order to get more-affordable accessories out on the market, and this will also give reluctant manufacturers the chance to step in at the right time and offer their own accessories for even more options for consumers.