This is a big question among iPhone, iPod, and iPad users: what is the difference between an MFI cable and a non-MFi cable? Before we go over differences between the two, lets go over what MFI is. MFI means “Made for iPhone, iPod, iPad”. In order for lightning data / charger cable manufacturers to make what they make, they have this go through this process called the MFI Program. This programs lets the manufacturers get their hands on Apple certified hardware connectors and components to make the cable. Simply speaking, lightning data and charging cables made through the MFI program are usually really reliable and high in quality because major parts of the cable are made from Apple themselves. Non-MFI charging and data cables are made illegally with substitute parts and are not reliable.

What happens when you use a non-MFI cable that you, let’s say, bought from a convenient store? Well, you pretty much get what you paid for. As you can see in this MFI vs non-MFI cable video, the data cable was burnt from the inside out from the low quality connectors, visually exposing the wires. This would never happen from a MFI cable.

So how can you visually tell the difference between the two? Well, for one, the packaging. Non-MFI cables are really flimsy and really poorly made while a MFI cable looks durable and high in quality. Another thing you can do is look at the packaging of the cables. MFI data and charging cables usually come with a nice packaging along with the “Made for iPhone, iPod, iPad” indicator while a non-MFI cable will come in a cheap packaging.

Hope this guide helps. Don’t forget, YOU got it from a Geek!