Apple has once again chosen to spotlight a third-party product with prime shelf space at its retail stores, partnering with Gamevice to push sales of its lineup of iOS-compatible gaming controllers.
Starting Wednesday, June 15 – Gamevice’s attachable gaming pads for iPhone and iPad are now available in all Apple retail stores worldwide. In addition, the Gamevice product lineup will be given its own “feature bay” in certain stores, despite the fact that the company is a relatively small, independent hardware maker.
Offering feature bays to quality third-party products is a relatively new strategy for Apple, as the company also gave prime placement to the DJI Phantom 4 when it launched exclusively in Apple Stores back in March.
The above photo, taken in Apple’s Shanghai store, shows that the Gamevice controller lineup will be given its own all-mounted graphic, showing its products will connect to larger iPhones, plus recent 9.7-inch iPad and iPad mini models. Displayed are a few other potential gaming-related products: theSteelSeries Nimbus wireless controller, and Bluetooth Beats Solo2 wireless headphones in different colors.
Unlike other wireless controllers, Gamevice’s unique design connects physically to Apple hardware through the Lightning port, allowing for a convenient handheld gameplay experience.
As full-fledged modern gaming controllers, Gamevice products offer all most all of the input options experienced gamers expect, including dual analog sticks, four face buttons, two triggers, and two shoulder buttons. The controllers weigh less than a pound, and the “Flexbridge” that connects the two hard plastic halves is collapsable for storage and transit.
Prior to providing DJI with a significant amount of shelf space for the Phantom 4, Apple historically reserved feature bays at its own stores for its own products. But the new displays for DJI and Gamevice signal a shift in how Apple conducts its retail operations.
AppleInsider reviewed the Gamevice Lightning-connected controller for iPhone 6, 6s and Plus models last year and found that it’s a well-designed and well-built gaming accessory. However, with a $100 price tag and a risk of not fitting future iPhone models, it’s likely to appeal to niche audiences.
GameVice also sells separate controller hardware for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, and iPad Air, as well as the iPad mini. All three models retail for $99.95 and are now available at Apple Stores worldwide. A fourth model for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is advertised as coming soon.