According to a rumor, Apple is resuming the Made For iPhone program despite moving from Lightning to USB-C on iPhone 15.
Apple requires third-party accessory makers to pay a fee to get certified access to select parts and technologies like the Lightning connector. This system is called the Made For iPhone program, and it was thought to be going away thanks to USB-C, but a repeated rumor says otherwise.
According to leaker ShrimpApplePro on Twitter, Apple will be requiring MFi certification for products connecting to the iPhone 15. This has been confirmed by the leaker's source, stating that Foxconn is in mass production of accessories like EarPods and cables with the certification.
The leaker does offer a bright side to the matter — some third-party MFi products are cheaper than Apple's official ones.
In the replies, Shrimp states that Apple will limit data and charging speed for cables connected to iPhone without the MFi certification. It seems this will be allowed, as Apple will be cooperating with the EU mandate to move to USB-C, just providing an obstacle to users.
While this might appear to be a consumer-hostile move from Apple, there are reasons the company might want a certification process. Obviously, Apple stands to make some money from charging for the certified parts and technology, but consumers will also have more confidence in buying products they know are guaranteed to work seamlessly with the iPhone.
Despite all of the praise USB-C gets for its universal connector, there are a lot of problems with it too. It is nearly impossible to tell what capabilities a cable might have just by looking at it, which could potentially damage a product if connected in an unexpected way.
This isn't the first time someone suggested Apple would continue the MFi program. It was previously shared via a Weibo post, but this is the first time a reliable leaker spoke up about it.
ShrimpApplePro has a decent history with product leaks. For example, Shrimp did correctly say that the Apple Watch Series 8 wouldn't be redesigned, and one leak about the dimensions of the iPhone 14 Pro was fairly accurate.
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro are expected to launch in September 2023. The entire lineup is expected to have USB-C and the Dynamic Island, though the pro models will have exclusive upgrades like the A17 processor.