Apple “tax” for iPhone accessories may be in the works

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises to Apple that came with the wild success of an iPod, was the emergence of the vibrant ecosystem of various iPod accessories. Somewhat belatedly Apple moved to capitalize on this ecosystem by introducing 10% tax for the right to display “Made for iPod” logo on various add-ons.

As with all the taxes, not everyone was happy and not everyone complied. And there’s only so much Apple could do to about it.

Things may be different for the iPhone. The recent patent filing shows how Apple can make any iPhone accessory maker that connects to the device, become a part of “Made for the iPhone” certification program. For a small fee, of course.


Patent application is really simple and describes:

…accessory detector coupled to the connector and configured to detect whether an external accessory coupled to the connector may interfere with wireless communication with the handheld device.

If implemented, the detector will analyze any accessory – power and data cables, hands free equipment, speakers, etc; – that you will connect to your iPhone and will decide whether it may interfere with the phone operation.

If the answer is yes, the iPhone will adjust for the maximum performance. But first it will start giving us warning messages like, you know:

“OMG! This thingy you connected right now will certainly crash your phone in a few seconds…”

Of course, like with the third party apps on the iPhone, it’s all for our own good.

And the club such a detector gives Apple to herd all accessory makers into “Made for the iPhone” certification program, for a small 10% fee on each accessory, is just an accidental side effect.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

Share This Post On