You need to keep an eye out for the MFi certification...
We've all been that solider; our phone chargers have stopped working and we rushed out to buy a cheap replacement. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. Did you ever wonder why this annoying message pops up on your iPhone when you use a cheap cable?
The official reason is that the cheap cable is not MRFi Certified. MFi stands for "Made for iPod / iPhone / iPad". This is a certification programme that started back in 2005 for iPod accessories, such as speaker docks.
Over the last ten years, it has expanded to include speakers, charging cables and home devices too. MFi products are guaranteed to be compatible with Apple products, but not all accessory manufacturers are part of the programme. You may ask why? The answer is simple; money.
Companies must pay a licensing fee to ensure compatibility with the Apple technology but some smaller manufacturers don't do this.
This is only an issue for cable or dock products, such as headphones, chargers or speakers. Bluetooth is an open standard meaning most, if not all, Bluetooth speakers are compatible.
The MFi certification is more important than ever, now that Apple has done away with the traditional headphone jack. Many companies will be looking to offer consumers cheap headphones, but it might actually be worth parting with the cash for MFi certified products to ensure they work.
These cheap alternatives may seem appealing in the moment, but could at best not charge your phone and at worst, damage it.