February 7, 2014
In January, Apple pared back the fees it charges third-party accessory makers. This could mean the introduction of more affordable electronic accessories, AirPlay audio accessories, and game controllers that work with the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad, according to AppleInsider. To manufacture official Made For iPod/iPhone/iPad (MFi) accessories, companies must pay a license fee. This fee, which Cupertino first introduced in 2005, once charged fees “rumored to have been in the realm of $10 per device, or 10% of the total retail cost of the accessory — whichever was greater.” Apple had reportedly lowered the cost to between 1.5 percent and 8 percent of the total retail price of an item. More recently, the company settled “on a flat $4 per connector fee, with a "Pass-through" connector commanding two of those $4 licensing fees.” AppleInsider says it’s unclear how much lower Apple has reduced the licensing fees this time around. They note, however, it should “translate to slightly more affordable accessories.” One of the reasons for the lower fees could be Apple’s recent extension of the MFi program. Announced at last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), this extension gave accessory manufacturers the ability to make official MFi iOS game controllers for the first time. Many of the first controllers that are part of the program have been introduced in recent weeks, including the Logitech's PowerShell, and MOGA's Ace Power. Perhaps reflecting Apple's lower licensing fees, the Stratus Wireless Gaming Controller launched in January for $79.95. It was originally supposed to come with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $99.99. See also: Razer Is Working On Their Own iOS Game Controller, and Game On: SteelSeries Announces 1st Wireless Game Controller Made For iOS 7.