Dario Rusignuolo Dario Rusignuolo - 1 month ago 22
iOS Question

MFI Apple Program/Certification

For a startup, what are the parameters that can make the certification request approved by Apple?

I know there are 2 types of certification described in FAQs here

they say:


high-volume manufacturing facility are eligible for the MFi Manufacturing License.


high-volume = ????

I'm interested in building MFI accessories and apps needed to control them.

Of course, my interest in do this is to make some profits, but I don't know what are the parameters that make the MFI Program valid as manufactorer (I sent the Apple MFI request to enter in the program)

I prefer not to use this kind of solution, just want to sell my own accessories.

I am waiting for Apple review to my MFI Program request and I explained them my type of accessories is on music area.

If is too complicated, I would like to know if it's possible to communicate with external devices via USB cable (Arduino or MSP430) having only the iOS Developer Program (maybe using EAAccessory library) and build products to sell.

Answer

Dario;

If you want to have your accessory connect through a 30-pin connector, or the new Lightning connector, or if you want any user-developed apps to communicate with the accessory through the iOS "External Accessory Framework", the accessory must be developed under a MFi license.

Any USB communications with the iOS devices would require use of the the 30-pin connector or the Lightning connector.

You should note that Apple will only grant MFi licenses to corporate entities that meet their criteria, and are willing to undergo a credit check. Additionally, after a recent restructuring of the MFi program, MFi accessories can now only be manufactured by companies that have been granted a "MFi Manufacturing License". As stated on the FAQ, Apple will only grant the Manufacturing License to companies that own a high-volume manufacturing facility. Only companies that have been granted a MFi Manufacturing License can buy the proprietary components that make it possible for accessories to connect to iOS devices, or communicate with user-developed apps through the iOS External Accessory Framework.

So, the realistic answer to your question, "can I put my product in the market without any problems?" is pretty simply, no.

Some other options would be to implement an accessory that communicates with the iPhone through wi-fi, or implement a "Bluetooth-LE" accessory that can communicate with user-developed apps through the CoreBluetooth Framework.

If you choose the Bluetooth-LE option, though, keep in mind that iOS devices before the iPhone 4S or iPad 3rd gen don't have the hardware to support Bluetooth-LE.

In any case, you'll have to get your app approved by Apple before it can be made available through the app store.