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Apple MFI Pricing?

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by tstorey, Aug 15, 2014.
  1. Tstorey
    I didn't really know where to put this since it originally related to my search for an iPhone DAC that would allow me to enjoy superior sound with my iPhone and not have a separate gadget for music (I subsequently ended up with a DX90 and love it!).
    However, I've just noticed that on the Beyerdynamic site the T51i headphones are only 20 euro more expensive than the T50p headphones, the only difference being the Made for Iphone/Pad designation of the T50i. (The ad specifically states "based on the T50p...").
    Which got me wondering, how much more expensive is the MFI designation to realise? In principle what we're seeing here is that its 20 euros and no more which begs the question why are some of the DAC manufacturers not going for MFI designations and widening the appeal of their products? Yes I'm aware that some/all of the MFI price could equally be offset in the overall development costs of the headphones as a single entity and the difference applied at point of sale to differentiate apple vs non apple. I'm also aware that Apple can be very selective about who they allow for MFI but it can't all be that can it?
    Any thoughts?
  2. ClieOS Contributor
    From JDS Labs. For what I know, same thing happens to FiiO when they tried to apply for MFi.
    I would think that, the rarity of MFi is exactly the reason why it is expensive. Limit the supply, heighten the demand, and naturally it becomes pricy. It is after all a monopoly.
  3. StevieRuss
    1st post here..
    Does anyone actually know what the actual costs are for a license from Apple to bypass the onboard DAC on an iDevice? I was actually wondering why Fiio haven't paid the fee to get on board. I can only assume it prohibitively expensive for a budget DAC.
    I only say this as I just bought a Sony PHA-2 as the Fiio devices don't appear to offer a device that bypasses the Apple on board DAC.. I'm not wishing to hijack the thread in any way but I just though you guys may have an insight so I thought i'd throw out the idea.
    Cheers.. SR
  4. ClieOS Contributor
    Err. you have to submit a stack of forms to Apple to apply for MFi first, then wait for them to call you back for approval. If they didn't call you back, it means they didn't approve you. It is not because FiiO doesn't want to pay Apple (yes, I do get this answer from FiiO themselves), but Apple doesn't call them back after the application submission.
  5. StevieRuss
    Ah.. I get it now.. If the request comes from SonyHQ then it's going to be a fast track 'yes' situation.. Weird.. Thx for the heads up..
  6. justin w. Contributor
    Getting approved as a MFi Developer is easy after paying Apple a $50 fee to run your credit. This grants access to some documents and purchasing of samples that one could have simply found online anyway. Getting a device approved and manufactured is another story. It would really have to be something that is going to sell in the millions of dollars to be worth consideration. Most headphone amps just aren't there yet, especially anything from a small company that is going to have to put together an engineering team getting paid real salaries or hire an outside firm with MFi experience ($$$). Then there is the ticking clock of obsolescence for anything with a DAC or cell phone pairing. 
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