Hot on the tail of the SteelSeries Stratus is another Bluetooth iOS 7 controller out of CES. It's by a new brand called "Signal" which I am having zero luck finding anything about because companies named after plain nouns are nearly impossible to Google. Regardless, the press release insists that the Signal team includes "leading hardware and software developers with extensive MFi partnership experience, backed by management with a history of success in consumer electronics."


It's called the "RP One," and it aims to be the first "full-scale" and "pro style" iOS 7 controller. As you can see by the photo, it's got the standard load out of buttons, triggers, and best of all, a shape that's closer to an Xbox controller than the previous designs we've seen iOS controller manufacturers use. Just like the SteelSeries stratus, it has a built in rechargeable battery that's capable of going ten hours and it can be charged and used at the same time, something the Stratus can't do.

Unfortunately, Signal is going with the same crazy $99.99 price point for the RP One that all iOS controllers are stuck with (Further proving my theory that it's not controllers manufacturers setting these prices!) and if all goes as planned it'll be available during the first half of 2014. The RP One seems like the first controller we've seen that doesn't make any compromises with size or form factor, so it could be the one to wait for.

However, with the only physical manifestation of this controller being a "concept" version on the show floor of CES, if you're looking to get a iOS controller this month, we still recommend preordering the SteelSeries Stratus.

  • Onikage725

    Obviously it depends on build quality, but going off the picture this may be the one for me. Quality professional design (if derivative), seems to be a decent size for my large hands, bluetooth. If I'm gonna suck it up for the price, this is the first I've seen that doesn't at a glance feel like a concession.

  • webman2k

    What the heck is with these prices?! It's a Bluetooth controller. Should be $40 max. I'm not going to support a manufacturer that's trying to cash in on early adopters.

    • t0panka

      Could be coincidence that every controller released or in works cost 100$? 😀 Apple is controlling prices, not manufacturers .)

    • Eli Hodapp

      Well, with what I know of the iOS accessory world, having the "Made for iPhone" logo on your packaging is very expensive. All the associated costs and royalty fees are hidden away under NDA, but there's a reason why a Belkin Lightning to USB cable costs $25 and a unlicensed Chinese knockoff from costs $2.50.

      What I suspect is happening is that the MFi controller certification progress is so expensive, both in the time spend dealing and negotiating with Apple as well as Apple's own licensing and royalties that at the end of the day the smallest slice of that $99 pie is actually going to the controller itself.

      Oh, and it's obvious Apple is the one enforcing the $99 price point, as you'd see SOME variance in price otherwise as it legit makes zero sense why competition in the market wouldn't drive prices down. Four products now released with the same price to the penny is the clearest indicator of price control you can get.

      • Hampus Jensen

        It sure is starting to look like Apple might be controlling the price in some way here. Why else would they all have the same price? But why would Apple introduce a controller standard and then kill it by enforcing a price that will obviously hinder adoption by no small amount?

        As for the rip of accessories. Sure, skipping the licensing probably saves them a bit but they also save by cutting costs in other ways that would prevent them from passing licensing anyway...

      • Boris Nguetie

        Please Eli. For the next article you'll do for a mfi controller ( that will probably be 100$ too), just leave the first comment in the section and ask people to STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT THE PRICE please. I mean i dont like it too and i already said it, but theres no need to copy/paste the same comment on every article about that ( we heard you guys already 4 controllers before, since the moga). I JUST WISH SOMEDAY IN THIS SECTION I'LL READ PEOPLES OPINION ABOUT THE ACTUAL CONTROLLER!!

      • Jay G

        When the price isn't the determining factor whether one buys the controller or not, then the discussion will turn to the other aspects of it.
        $99 is ridiculous and out of line with every other controller made. Hell, you can buy a 3DS or a Vita for less than twice that.

      • Dman

        I'm not so sure about that. Unless your telling us something that we don't know (i.e. One of these manufacturers outright told you that Apple told its MFi hardware manufacturer licensees that in order to be apart of the program they need to price there devices at 100 bucks) then, this is all conjecture. This feels more like manufacturers taking advantage of early adopters and the pent-up demand of physical controllers in the iOS market.

        Also, I for one am happy that there is a program like MFi, to not only prevent cheap electronics from causing health and safety hazards (i.e. just google "Cheap Knockoff iPhone Cables Fires / Electrocution"... heck these safety hazards have been reported numerous times by your sister-site MacRumors) but it also helps keep the quality of accessory products at a respectful level. Just think of the crap we would get if there wasn't a program like MFi. You think parts of the Logitech / MOGA controllers are cheap feeling... just think of the cheap, short-lasting, breakable garbage that would be hawk to consumers in the iOS space. Gives me the shivers to even think about.

      • Eli Hodapp

        People tell me lots of things I can't repeat.

      • Dman

        Well, if what you are alluding to is actually happening, in that manufacturers are being told to sell there stuff at nothing less then 99.99 in order to be a part of the MFi program, then I'm pretty sure that is illegal, goes against US Consumer protection laws, and should be reported to the appropriate people for investigation.

        Now, if what your alluding to is that Apple has told MFi hardware licensees that they should sell their controllers for a Suggested Retail Price (basically a MSRP) of 100 dollars, in order to best recoup their costs in R&D, Marketing, license fees and taking advantage of any pent-up demand for 1st generation physical controllers in the iOS gaming market, in order to make a healthy profit in the first go-around of physical controllers, is also not illegal.

        The fact that they have also told manufacturers that any controllers that they sell in the Apple Retail Stores will sell for 99.99, is also not illegal. Any retail store has the power to price the products in a way that they see fit and if a retailer chooses not to carry a product because they don't want to sell the product to its customers for less and/or more then what they believe the value of that product to be, then that is the retailers decision not the manufacturers. This is why retailers such as Walmart or Amazon can make or break products and define the value of said products, because they have the power to price the products that they sell in which they see fit.

        For companies such as Amazon and Walmart, this means devaluing many products by selling them less then the MSRP (sometime even less the it costs to make, of which Amazon is notorious for doing) in order to use economies-of-scale, to make up the lost profit and get people in the door and coming back for other items. Obviously, in Apple's case... they believe that the value of a first-generation MFi controller is $99.99 and if manufacturers want to be carried in their retail / online stores, they need to price their products accordingly.

        Now with all that said, I for one am not going to buy a 1st-generation iOS/Mac controller because, well... I never buy first generation products because there always tends to be kinks and problems that need to be ironed out for a product to truly shine but also, I agree with the sentiment that $99.99 for a controller is expensive, especially for my usage-case. I am not a HUGE iOS gamer and/or bleeding-edge early adopter, so to invest in $100 for a game accessory, doesn't make sense for me. Now, I would be more willing to buy a certified iOS controller for $50 to $60 dollars, especially if it was a standalone controller that worked on both iOS and Mac.

        Anyways, as with most things, the forces of market demands will price iOS / Mac controllers according to what the market demands and if 100 dollars is too expensive for such an accessory, the eventually it will be priced lower to where there is enough of a healthy demand for both retailers and manufacturers to make a profit. I think this will eventually happen. I wouldn't be surprised if less then a year from now, there was a standalone iOS / Mac controller you could buy for $50 to $60 bucks.

      • fatecreatr

        Mandated MSRP's (manufacturer suggested retail) aren't illegal, neither are MAPs (minimum advertised price). It would only be illegal for Apple to course retailers to sell at the same prices.

        Right now we have a product likely in high enough demand that there is no reason to cut I to the profits. Apple knows how to play this pricing game very well. It's all legal.

    • mclifford82

      Xbox One controllers aren't that cheap and they use more tech than these things do. Get real.

  • koryc

    So many ios7 controllers

  • lr1919

    Quit complaining about the price. $100, that's just the average cost of one cup of coffee...

  • B30

    I'd rather buy 100 games.

  • JD214

    Would pay $60 max for this, no more than a Xbox One or PS4 controller, and I think $60 is still a lot for it.

  • Gamer1st

    It sucks bad on the pricing.
    I'm someone's probably thinking "they paid over $500 for the device another $100 won't kill them".
    If this ones full sized and has a decent build quality it may be a buy for me. I won't be paying $100 for a cheap feeling controller though.

  • Mike

    oh exxbackss kwantroler!!

  • Brandon

    The first decent controller that comes out for $40 will sell a ton.

    • themostunclean

      In 1-2 years.

  • wildperson

    "Like an xbox controller"
    Or, you know, it has the exact layout of a dualshock controller...

    • Eli Hodapp

      But, you know, with the (near) exact shape and color of an Xbox controller...

      • Hampus Jensen

        This. Also, layout (as well as colours for A, B, X and Y) is defined by Apple in the MFI controller specification. Shape for the most part isn't.

  • madmaxmedia

    I doubt Apple is controlling pricing, why and how would they enforce such a high price? I think the more likely explanation is we are seeing classic 'price skimming' strategy as there are a lot of iOS users out there waiting for this. The margin on a $99 controller is big even with Apple fees, there's not a lot of these controllers yet so if you can get $99 MSRP to help float your development costs, why not? The companies will gradually drop prices over time, to expand market (classic price skimming strategy) and as more competing products are released.

    The margins on most iPhone cases are probably actually higher. $30 for a thin piece of molded plastic, when reasonably good equivalents can be found on EBay for $2 or so.

    • Eli Hodapp

      As to how, "If you want your controller to be stocked in the Apple Store you need to price it at $99.99." Products like this live and die by their placement in Apple Stores.

      As to why, who knows.

      • madmaxmedia

        That makes sense, if all these controllers actually end up in Apple stores (I doubt they will carry a lot of models even if more are released.) Not sure there's any real motive to Apple to say, "If you sell a controller, it must be $99.99." There are no dirt cheap products in Apple stores anyways- I think by the time you take into account development costs, iOS licensing costs, actual wholesale pricing (vs. MSRP), marketing and distribution...launching the first iOS game controllers at $100 is not really surprising.

  • rockhount

    No price noticeably under 99,99 no purchasing...simple as that

  • Michael Gatto

    do any of these have an accelerometer/gyro... would they support tilt? Would that violate apple's spec>

  • dexterdavis

    I can buy almost a ps4 controller and a Xbox one controller for the price of that one probably shitty controller

  • cthulhufan

    LMFAO, U.S. $99 for a mobile device game controller? No. Seriously. No.

  • Poo

    I'm more willing to drop a buck on this one than the rest but I still don't have a free buck laying around.

  • Turbobond

    Okay. A high price for this product is not a scam, it's simple economics--more specifically the economies of scale. Microsoft sells exceptional controllers at $60 each because they know they will move hundreds of thousands of units. If any of these iOS controllers sell more than 50,000 units it would be astonishing, so their price must reflect the cost of materials, R&D, and some profit to justify what is a big gamble for those companies. $99 is a steal, but if you want the price to go down the best thing you could do is buy one and tell all your friends to do the same.

    • Eli Hodapp

      The whole R&D and production argument would work if two products, both the MOGA Ace Power and the SteelSeries Stratus weren't nearly complete duplicates of their Android counterparts which currently sell for half (or less) of the iOS versions.

      • H4nd0fg0d

        My sentiment exactly. Very well put. Agreed.

      • Davide Pasca

        I don't think it's all because of added development cost, but it's true that MFi has brought some pain to controller makers.
        They had to abide by specs and Apple firmware that haven't been well defined for a while, they had to put all buttons as pressure sensitive and go through some certification.
        I've heard more than one maker complaining about the added work.

        Still.. clearly nobody likes these prices.

  • salvee

    Everyone! Wait for my controller to come out!
    Only 98.99!

    • H4nd0fg0d

      No, get mine at $98.97. I kno, so not funny.

      • salvee

        Not funny "haha" but funny "hmm"
        Just like this pricing bidness!

  • SrMomo

    Why everyone is like crazy with the price? I mean, all the iPhone or iPad cases like otter or lifeproof have almost the same price and nobody is bitching about that. It's made for Apple devices, all products for Apple devices are overpriced. All of them. Also the games on the AppStore doesn't cost $60 some of them are even free and also support the controller.

    • Goggles789

      Probably due to the poor build quality that seems to be a recurring theme with these controllers. Or, due to the lower cost of similar controllers on consoles. And a different mentality. People may view cases and such as something that protects their investment in the iPhone/iPad, and are therefor willing to pay a little more to protect from long term wear and damage. I'm not so sure people have that same sentiment with a cheaply made controller. Honestly, for a gamer like me, only 5 or 6 of my iOS games are currently being supported with these controllers, so spending 100 bucks to play a couple of games on physical hardware is ludicrous to me. The reason the price point is poor for me is due to the underwhelming lack of potential these things carry.

  • Flynn Taggart

    It will be a cold day in hell before I spend one hundred dollars on a controller for something that isn't even a proper platform.

  • Goggles789

    I think that the reason for the high price point is perhaps to create the illusion of quality. It would seem that some consumers think that things that cost a lot of money are higher quality than lower cost products. Either way, these controllers aren't for me. Still waiting for the Razer Blade bluetooth controller. That one is the same size as the iPhone and folds away when you don't use it. As far as the build quality, I have high hopes. I just hope the price isn't so absurd, otherwise I'll just wait it out. I'm in no rush to buy an iOS controller.

    • Eli Hodapp

      That works... Until you open the box. I read on the r/iosgaming subreddit that Apple Stores are seeing an awful lot of returns.

      • Goggles789

        Thanks for the heads up!

  • jwmii2

    No biggie if apple is controlling the price then i'll control my wallet and not buy any of them.

    • cthulhufan

      Exactly. It is an absurd price point.

  • mclifford82

    That D-Pad looks horrendous. Can we not just go back to the good D-Pads of yesteryear that fucking worked? I'm looking at you, SNES and Saturn.

    • mclifford82

      Hell, my iPad 3 has BTStack and uses the Wiimote->Classic Controller. This is the official solution I'm after (minus the wiimote in the middle).

  • squirpe

    ... Or wait for the imported knock-offs that will eventually flood eBay, like with conventional controllers.

  • Y.Badiner

    iOS controller for $100? The world gone crazy. Anyway, bluetooth controller means gaming at home. I can't use this controller at subway or bus. I have iPad mini retina ($700 + games) and PS Vita ($200 + games), it's enough for gaming on the go. If I will find a time for gaming at home, I'll buy PS4 or XBone with good controllers and good games.

    Sorry for my english.

  • rewind

    But the left thumbstick is in the wrong spot..... Oh, I will always stick with xbox.

  • Stustaff

    I know it's not for everyone BUT seriously!

    Jailbreak and install BT stack and blutrol for what less than 5 bucks and use a PS3 pad that you can pick up for 30 notes.

    It's 20 minutes work if that and works with every game I have tried so far.

    • PeterMZanetti

      Like which games? With no configuring?

      • chinito77

        BT stack is neat but too much configuration time for each game is needed. I've also ran into a lot of games that didn't work well. I want to believe in these controllers but that price...

      • Fraught

        Oh boo fuckin' hoo. No amount of configuring is the added...40 bucks worth (and that's if you go buy an extra PS3 controller for this and don't already have one that came packed-in with a PS3).

  • TheBeastlyNinja

    They have made a terrible mistake by putting the joysticks next to each other

  • LuckySunday

    2008 - App Store and the birth of mobile gaming.
    2011 - Realization of public desire for mobile gaming.
    2012 - Deep pocket development companies dive in for a slice of the pie.
    2013 - 64 bit processors bring the imminent possibility of console/PC gaming on-the-go

    2014 - Console inspired game controllers for a more immersive experience...

    Are you as excited as I am for the full Call of Duty, Madden X and Forza experience on your iPad? We all know it's coming. There's too much money left on the table.


  • Defcubusal

    I do not like the look of the dpad and I do not like the stick layout. Honestly, it looks like a twenty dollar el-cheapo to me. But like all controllers I would have to try it to know for sure, but for $100 I'll never know.

  • Squablo

    I've been saying it all along. Apple is the puppet master here. That's!

  • Kane

    I'm not a thief, but these prices are drawing me towards thuggery. Lock your front doors and hide your wallets!

    • ⭐沛霖⭐㊗

      just come to hong kong , i am happy to buy u one of it since i am the biggest apple fans , and people say i am great & generous

      • spsummer

        Can you ship one, or do we have to go to Hong Kong?

      • ⭐沛霖⭐㊗

        u will have to come to me and we go to apple store together

  • Draven2222

    I have a theory for the $99 mystery...but it is far too sinister for this forum.
    So I'll resolve to this cryptic message.
    "To win the war, first you must design the battlefield"
    BTW.. The silver xbox mfi controller thingy looks ok, even though it is "silver" and it does "excite", it's not worth 100 bucks.
    What happened to the big battery to charge your iDevice excuse..?
    These BT controllers haven't even got this feature, a reason that many review sites used to justify the initial high price tag... Oh but they can also charge your iPhone like the morphie..blah,,bll..
    Although I welcome BT to MFi, $99 is a joke.

    "Where's my battery gone?"
    No it's not the name of a new Disney game especially designed for BT Mfi controllers. <--- that was a joke..
    Put it back... or reduce the price by $50.

  • setarrif

    With such prices, I expect at least the controllers having an onboard Apple TV to stream the games on a TV (-;

    • setarrif

      Oh no, better: they actually let your iDevice hover in front of you while you play with the controller!!!

  • Matthew White

    When these controllers hit $40 I'll buy one. Until then F you Apple.

  • chief78

    I can attest to the $#!tty build of the Moga....I mean just absolutely piss poor. I also believe Moga had no intention of having to sell their $20 controller for $100.
    ***When every damn controller from iOS is being sold at $100, guess what? Apple's controlling the pricing!!!!***
    - for those who think these companies are controlling price, I'll be polite and just say they're not. I own a Moga, and it broke on the 8th day of play. As cheaply built as it is, I'm really feeling the burn from Apple right now. I went against my own better judgement to give the Moga a shot (since I own quite a few games that it supports and wanted to see how mfi controllers will be). They're pretty communist about pricing these "coveted" controllers because they know most Apple users are going to flock and buy one. Well, they're right but that doesn't make the situation right....think of it this way....when u see an apple product on sale (not add-ons but an iPhone, iPad or iPod) they never....ever ever ever do more than a 5% discount. Wake up peeps!