If you own an Apple product and have been shopping for a replacement cable, you may notice some cables say ‘MFI Certified’ and others don’t. You probably also noticed that the MFI cables are typically more expensive than non-MFI cables. Today, we want to go into what that certification means and why it’s essential to your device.

‘Apple Tax’


Accessories for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac are expensive, especially if you buy them through Apple. While there are cheaper alternatives to Apple-branded accessories, purchasing them could cost you more in the future.

MFI is short for ‘Made for iPod.’ The certification started back in 2005 with the original iPod to ensure that it would work with all accessories and chargers. To receive the MFI certification or ‘Mad for iPod’ stamp on the packaging, the manufacturer had to do several things. First, all accessories must run through Apple’s compliance tests. This included checking the durability, safety, headphone jack controls, and accessory compatibility. The manufactures also had to pay a royalty to Apple.

The process is still the same today. Each accessory that is MFI certified will have a tiny chip in them to let the device know it’s safe to use. As a result, the consumer gets a reliable product, manufacturers can promote their products as ‘MFI Certified,’ and Apple makes some extra money.

Why Are Uncertified Accessories Bad?

Not all, but most uncertified cables are of low quality. There are non-certified accessories that work fine with Apple products. The real reason non-certified accessories are bad is that they could damage your device. For example, Lightning cables are made to particular qualifications. If a Lightning cable is not made to these, it may be lost in the charge port. As a result, heat could build, or electricity will get conducted incorrectly. These scenarios could damage your charge port or the entire phone itself.

Apple has some resources to help you determine whether or not your accessories are MFI certified. They have a counterfeit guide that shows the difference between certified and non-certified cables. The picture below is an example of a certified and non-certified cable.

How Do I Know If My Accessory Is MFI Certified?

Most MFI certified accessories will display the status on the package. If you have thrown the package away, a quick search on Google or Amazon can tell you more information about the manufacturer and product. Apple also has a search tool that can help show you whether the accessory is certified. Apple devices will also give the notification below if a product is not certified. However, it may misidentify a legitimate cord from time to time.

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