What does the term MFi mean?

It is common to see some products that claim to be certified MFi (as is the case with this cable), but not all users know what it means. What is the difference between MFi products for those who do not have this label? And why are they more expensive?

MFi = Made for iPhone (or iPod, or iPad)

THE MFi program is a certification provided by Apple to all products that meet a standard set by the company. It is the endorsement of the apple that that product follows all of its quality standards and that is why it is 100% compatible with Apple devices, even with future system updates. This brings tranquility to the user, who will not be surprised by warnings of this type:

IPhone screen, with the warning:

MFi cables

Beginning with iOS 7, the system began to identify Lightning cables that do not have an internal identification chip, making them incompatible for both charging and synchronizing. This caused several unapproved cables to stop working. Chinese counterfeits, which are generally quite cheap, were the most affected.

Although the MFi seal is a guarantee of operation, it does not mean that accessories that do not have it are always of poor quality. There are cases of cables made by trusted brands, like this one that does not have certification, but works perfectly on the iPhone and iPad, without appearing the dreaded incompatibility notice. It is always important to buy products from well-known brands in trusted places. When it comes to cables for iPhone and iPad, we can classify them into three types:

  • Counterfeit: also known as “pirates“, They try to imitate the appearance of the original Apple cable, making consumers believe that they are buying the original product at a much lower price. They usually cost very little, but the connectors do not follow any safety standards and can break easily in a short time. Apple has a support page talking about it a lot.
  • Authentic, but without approval: there are companies that manufacture their own Lightning cables, without necessarily following all the standards required by Apple. Those from well-known brands are usually of good quality and work well, but because they do not have official certification they can stop working if Apple changes something in an iOS update. They have an intermediate price between the pirate and the approved.
  • MFi Certificates: are the ones approved by Apple, which analyzes them and guarantees that they follow all the necessary quality standards. They have a internal chip which is updated along with iOS, thus maintaining operation in all versions. Usually it has a high price precisely because of the large number of requirements that Apple makes to have the certificate (approved chip, packaging, design), thus having the right to use the official seal.

MFi logo

The MFi seal is not only for cables, but also for other types of accessories, such as game controls. In order for them to work natively with iOS, they need certification that guarantees full compatibility with the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.

Higher price

Accessories with MFi certification are generally more expensive, and it is no accident. Apple charges a rate companies so that they can adopt the seal, and this ends up making the final price more expensive. But at least it is the certainty that the product follows a quality standard that will not damage the devices (in the case of electrical cables) and will always be compatible with the system.

MFi products are always the best option. But if you want to opt for less expensive cables, without certification, always look for those from trusted brands that already have the experience of making MFi cables as well, as this shows that they have the technical level to build quality products. The only however of these alternative cables is that they may stop working in a future system update.

The original Apple cables that come with the iPhone and iPod receive a lot of complaints about their fragility. Therefore, when choosing a cable of another brand for your device, look for one made with resistant material, preferably reinforced both in the cable jacket and in the ends of the connectors.

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