Apple is notoriously famous for charging expensive tag for its original products, be it computers, phone or other accessories. While they might argue that customers will enjoy top quality products for the price, some price tags of their product just don’t make any sense.
Take their original USB lightning cable for example. The cheapest type of this cable costs almost twenty dollars for one simple cable. Normally, I’d expect a cable that costs so much would be rigid and durable, but it isn’t. I owned two of these cables from my purchase of various iDevices, and both of them have given way due to tear on the cable coating and the USB jack just got snapped from normal use.
Alternatively, you can buy other compatible accessories from third-party manufacturers. They offer the same functionalities like the one Apple manufactured themselves, but at various price points (sometimes they are a lot cheaper too!). Some of these third-party accessories are better than the ones Apple produced or offer better value for money. Using the lightning cable example once again, there is a cheaper alternative offered by Amazon that sells its AmazonBasics Lightning Cable for half the price. The cable works like wonders and people are giving satisfactory reviews about it.
So, if using third-party accessories is cheaper, why am I talking about risks in this post? Well, turns out that not all of these accessories are safe to be used. There are some cases that using third-party accessories led to injury, or even death. You have to exercise caution when buying third-party accessories since not all of them are manufactured with the utmost safety in mind. Don’t be fooled by cheap or even knock-off accessories sold by local shops. Choose the ones that has MFi certification from Apple.
Apple actually has a program for third-party manufacturers called MFi, or Made For iPhone/iPad/iMac. The program gives a license to any third-party that want to make accessories. When the license is granted to these parties, Apple is vouching to their manufacturing standard that adheres to Apple’s own standard. Thus, customers using accessories they made can feel safe knowing that their products won’t put them or their phone at risks.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to tell which product is already MFi certified and which is not. Customers often have to rely on the product description written on the product packaging and trust the manufacturer. However, there is a list of MFi licensee that Apple published for everyone to read. Looking at this list before buying anything would surely give you the extra confidence that the accessories will be safe for use later.
As a rule of thumb, don’t buy those unbelievably cheap accessories from uncertified sellers (as they might be knock-offs) and always check whether they are MFi certified before handing over your money.