Made For iPod

Q: I’ve noticed that some of your reviews indicate that certain iPod accessories are “Made For iPod,” while others do not. What does “Made for iPod” mean, and why doesn’t that appear on all of your reviews.

A: Made For iPod is a licensing program developed by Apple, ostensibly to guarantee a base level of quality across licensed products, and also to provide Apple with a royalty fee (in 2005, approximately 10% of every Made For iPod product’s wholesale price) used to help build the iPod brand worldwide. We set up an information page on Made For iPod when it was announced in early 2005, and have updated it a couple of times since then. Some companies have joined the program, others have not.

Apple hasn’t explained the Made For iPod program especially well to members of the public, and from what we’ve seen, iPod accessory prices have been going up steadily since the program was introduced, without commensurate benefits to consumers. We get the feeling that this trend will continue in 2006, and perhaps get worse. For these reasons, we have been considering whether to drop Made For iPod references from our reviews going forward, and would appreciate your comments on that subject.

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