This page summarizes known information on Apple Computer’s “Made for iPod” accessory certification program, which was briefly introduced to consumers and the media on January 11, 2005 in a keynote speech by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at Macworld Expo San Francisco.
How do I know a product is “Made for iPod?” Featuring a rounded rectangular box with an iPod icon to the left and the words “Made for iPod” to the right, the program’s logo has appeared in black and white, and also in a green, black and white version. The “Made for iPod” badge below was quickly rolled out on the Expo show floor by Apple representatives, and displayed alongside third-party peripherals ranging from wireless transmitters to in-car connection systems. Qualifying products will include the badge in advertising and packaging.
How does the “Made for iPod” program work? As previously reported by iLounge, Made for iPod currently involves a licensing and badging program for authorized electronic accessories that connect to the iPod’s top and bottom ports. The top port has previously been known as an extended headphone jack, and the bottom as the “Dock Connector.” Recently both have been referred to collectively as “iPod Connectors,” and apparently accessories for each port will be licensed by Apple under the Made for iPod program. Manufacturers will pay a royalty for use of officially made iPod Connector components, which may increase the price of authorized iPod accessories over their unauthorized competitors, and apparently receive a certification that their products are iPod-safe.
What has Apple said about “Made for iPod?” Details have been scarce since the program was rolled out, and program participants are no longer talking specifics. However, two weeks after the program was announced, BusinessWeek’s Peter Burrows reported that Apple’s “Executive Vice-President Phil Schiller… adds the Made for iPod program seeks to formalize how accessory makers work with Apple—while also preventing consumers from getting stuck with knockoff products that don’t perform as advertised.”
What do accessory makers think of “Made for iPod?” Major electronic accessory makers generally support the Made for iPod program. According to Burrows: “Accessory makers that have been briefed about Apple’s plan say it will help more than hurt. While none revealed the exact details, Made for iPod is essentially a way to make sure all electronics accessories work properly with the iPod. It doesn’t apply to nontechnical products, such as cases or polishes. Those who agree to follow Apple’s technical specifications will be able to include a ‘Made for iPod’ logo on their packaging. The logo should start appearing on speakers, car adapters, power supplies, and other such gizmos within a few weeks.”
What does iLounge think about “Made for iPod?” Though iLounge is an independent resource of iPod information not affiliated with Apple Computer, we editorially support the Made for iPod program to the extent that it provides a guarantee of safety and proper testing of electronic iPod accessories for consumers, and will advise our readers of the Made for iPod status of new iPod accessories we review.
Where can I learn more about the “Made for iPod” program on Apple’s site? As of June, 2005, Apple has posted a small amount of information on Made for iPod, namely the following description: ” ‘Made for iPod’ means that an electronic accessory has been designed specifically to connect to iPod and has been certified by the developer to meet Apple performance standards.”
Is there any interesting “Made for iPod” trivia? The program may or may not originally have been named “Ready for iPod” – a designation that appeared on some third-party printed materials at the Expo, but never materialized in public Apple materials.