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Apple Has Worked on a Physical Game Controller for iPhone

In Anandtech's lengthy iPad review, they reveal knowledge of an internal Apple project for a game controller for iOS:
I know of an internal Apple project to bring a physical controller to market, but whether or not it will ever see the light of day remains to be seen. As smartphones and tablets come close to equalling the performance of current game consoles, I feel like the controller problem must be addressed.


ION's iCade Mobile shown at CES

Apple is not the first company to have considered such a device for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Several 3rd party companies have worked on similar devices over the years. iControlPad was one of the first and is now shipping. Ion Audio's iCade followup (pictured above) also allows users to enclose their iOS device within a controller offering physical buttons and controls. Apple has even applied for a patent on a similar design.

These 3rd party solutions however have generally been relegated to keyboard emulation over Bluetooth rather than full fledged dock-supporting accessories. In fact, we'd heard that Apple had originally supported these accessory makers in their quest to make official dock-connector game controllers, but then the approval process was mysteriously halted. Some had speculated at the time that Apple was working on their own game controller solution. We've heard little else about this, though Atari's recently announced Arcade Joystick does now use the dock connector.

Top Rated Comments

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36 months ago
I'm sure if Apple makes it, that's exactly what it will look like too. So beautiful, simple and clean. [/sarcasm]
Rating: 23 Votes
36 months ago
If Apple would design a game controller, I am sure it wouldn't look anything like the one in the picture.
Rating: 18 Votes
36 months ago
Professor Brundle accidentally crossed an iPhone, an original Nintendo commercial, 1 quart of fingerprint grease and 3 gallons of ugly with his teleporter.
Rating: 9 Votes
36 months ago
What aren't they working on?
Rating: 8 Votes
36 months ago
If Apple ever bought nintendo - (its never gonna happen) and made a games controller it definitely need only one button for sure

Rating: 8 Votes
36 months ago


Yes.
Rating: 7 Votes
36 months ago
If Apple made a controller like that, it'd be a circular touchpad on the left and one, maybe two, buttons on the right.
Rating: 5 Votes
36 months ago
I don't understand why Apple hasn't done this yet, anyway. I realize Jobs thought any accessory needed for an iPhone of iPad meant the device was DOA, but I don't think he realized the amount of games and the market share it has stolen from DSI and PSP. If Apple created their own controller, all the DEVs would be able to just code their games to work with it, since it would be the defacto controller........and after that's established, 3rd party manufact. could come out with their Apple copy-cats. I love my iPad and iPhone, but they are in desperate need of a universal controller to really win over the hardcore gamers and games that require more precise movements or pressure to really operate.
Rating: 5 Votes
36 months ago
What an utterly ugly game controller - looks cheap and plastic like - glad Apple has better designers.
Rating: 4 Votes
36 months ago
Im sorry but games on ios are completely overrated.

I love my iPad and iPhone but the games are decent on the ****ter but I'll stick to the Xbox for real games.

Seriously put down the Koolaid.

Angry birds is sooooooo overrated
Rating: 3 Votes

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