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.

icade1
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

smitha96 Avatar
126 months ago
I'm sure if Apple makes it, that's exactly what it will look like too. So beautiful, simple and clean. [/sarcasm]
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0815 Avatar
126 months ago
If Apple would design a game controller, I am sure it wouldn't look anything like the one in the picture.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HarryKeogh Avatar
126 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.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
One Bad Duck Avatar
126 months ago
If Apple made a game controller...

If Apple ever bought nintendo - (its never gonna happen) and made a games controller it definitely need only one button for sure

Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mobi Avatar
126 months ago
What aren't they working on?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lilcosco08 Avatar
126 months ago


Yes.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

1x 1

Apple CEO Tim Cook 'Secretly' Signed $275 Billion Deal With China in 2016

Tuesday December 7, 2021 6:49 am PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook "secretly" signed an agreement worth more than $275 billion with Chinese officials, promising that Apple would help to develop China's economy and technological capabilities, The Information reports. In an extensive paywalled report based on interviews and purported internal Apple documents, The Information revealed that Tim Cook personally forged a five-year agreement...
macbook pro 13 inch banner

Apple Planning Five New Macs for 2022, Including Entry-Level MacBook Pro Refresh

Sunday December 5, 2021 7:55 am PST by
Apple is working on five new Macs for launch in 2022, including a new version of the entry-level MacBook Pro, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said that he expects Apple to launch five new Macs in 2022, including: A high-end iMac with Apple silicon to sit above the 24-inch iMac in the lineup A significant MacBook Air...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors

2022 Apple Watch Lineup Rumored to Include New Apple Watch SE and 'Rugged' Model for Sports

Sunday December 5, 2021 8:22 am PST by
Apple is planning an entire revamp of its Apple Watch lineup for 2022, including an update to the Apple Watch SE and a new Apple Watch with a rugged design aimed at sports athletes, according to respected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. Writing in the latest installment of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said that for 2022, alongside the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple is planning an update to ...
apple parts and service history

iOS 15.2 Adds 'Parts and Service History' Feature to iPhone

Tuesday December 7, 2021 9:12 pm PST by
With the launch of iOS 15.2, Apple is adding a new "Parts and Service History" section to the Settings app that will let users see the service history of their iPhones and confirm that components used for repairs are genuine. As outlined in a new support document, iPhone users who have iOS 15.2 or later installed can go to Settings > General > About to access Parts and Service History. The...
IMG 1840

Apple Music Voice Plan Coming in iOS 15.2

Tuesday December 7, 2021 10:25 am PST by
Apple today provided the release candidate version of iOS 15.2 to developers for testing purposes, and in the release notes, Apple says that the new Apple Music Voice Plan is set to launch alongside the update. Introduced in October, the Voice Plan is a new tier for Apple Music that is priced more affordably than a standard Apple Music plan. It's $4.99 instead of $9.99, and is designed...
macbook pro 3

macOS Monterey 12.1 Fixes Major Tap to Click, YouTube HDR, and Charging Bugs

Tuesday December 7, 2021 10:48 am PST by
macOS Monterey 12.1, which is set to be released to the public in the near future, addresses several significant bugs that Mac users have been complaining about for weeks. According to Apple's release notes, it fixes a bug that could cause the trackpad to become unresponsive to taps or clicks. We reported on the Tap to Click bug earlier this month after receiving dozens of complaints from Mac...
2021 MBP SD Card Error Feature

Some SD Cards Not Working Properly With 2021 14 and 16-Inch MacBook Pros

Monday December 6, 2021 2:02 pm PST by
The SD card reader slot on the new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models is not functioning as expected with some SD cards, according to multiple reports on the MacRumors forums. In a long complaint thread, MacRumors readers have detailed the issues that they're having with some SD cards, and there seems to be little consistency between reports and affected SD cards. Some SD cards crash and...
airpods pro blue holiday 3

Deals: AirPods Pro With MagSafe Available for $169.99 and Christmas Delivery on Amazon ($79 Off) [Update: Expired]

Monday December 6, 2021 6:03 am PST by
Amazon today has Apple's AirPods Pro with MagSafe Charging Case for $169.99 and delivery before Christmas Day, down from an original price of $249.00. This is $10 off from the rock bottom $159.99 price tag we tracked on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and still a great deal for anyone shopping this holiday season. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and...
razer chroma fan 1

Razer Launches MagSafe-Compatible Cooling Fan for iPhones

Tuesday December 7, 2021 9:37 am PST by
Razer today announced the launch of the Razer Phone Cooler Chroma, a MagSafe-compatible fan that's designed to attach to the back of an iPhone. While there's a MagSafe version for the iPhone 12 and 13 models, there's also a second version with a clamp design that's meant for Android phones and that would also work with non-MagSafe iPhones. Razer says that the Phone Cooler Chroma has a...