Apple Tightens Control Of iBeacon Trademark By Adding It To ‘Made For iPhone’ Program


Up to this point, the term “iBeacon” has been used to describe just about any location-aware transmitter that can send data to a device over Bluetooth. But now it’s going to get harder for companies to market their products as iBeacons.

Apple is clamping down on its iBeacon trademark by adding specifications for the technology to its ‘Made for iPhone’ (MFi) program.

Including iBeacon in MFi gives Apple complete quality control over where the iBeacon name can be used. When a Bluetooth speaker maker wants to be approved by Apple, it has to go through the MFi program. And now the same process will be required for iBeacon.

BEEKn reported the news first today:

The specifications are available after signing an NDA. Applying to the program in order to register to carry the iBeacon name, we’re told, is free.

While we haven’t seen the specification (and wouldn’t be able to say anything if we had!) we’re told that there are no surprises: it conforms to what you’d generally expect of anydevice that broadcasts a Bluetooth LE signal.

Our own Mile Elgan has argued that iBeacons are going to “change everything” because of how easy they are to implement across different markets. Department stores like Macy’s have started using iBeacons to share promotions with customers, and Major League Baseball has implemented iBeacons in its stadiums.

  • mahadragon

    IBeacon is a complete joke. I went in the Apple a Store in Portland Oregon and half the employees had never heard of iBeacon let alone know how to activate it on an iPhone. Turns out I needed to have wifi turned on to use it. Hope Macys and others who use IBeacon are smart enough to offer wifi because their users might need it.

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Alex HeathAlex Heath is a journalist and co-host of The CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." He lives in Lexington, Kentucky. If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Follow him on Twitter.

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