Fender Release First iPhone-Enabled Guitar

Even Apple is selling the new Fender Squire Strat which connects straight to iOS devices via USB. Is it a recording revolution, or does it dumb down the art of making music? Let us know what you think here.

Ultimate Guitar

Fender has released a new guitar which can connect straight to iOS devices without needing a separate audio interface.

The iOS-enabled Fender Squire Strat has even been added to the official Apple store, where it costs $200.

It features its own built-in iOS interface, which lets you record straight into apps like Garage Band via a USB input - though if you're rocking the newest iOS devices with the smaller Lightning port, you'll need a special adaptor.

It can also connect to desktop Macs, should you choose to record into the OS X version of Garage Band.

"The Squier by Fender Stratocaster guitar offers bi-directional audio streaming and includes a high-quality headphone amp so that you can monitor the processed guitar signal right from the guitar itself," reads a press release. "Thanks to the guitar's own audio interface, you can record audio straight to your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac-no additional hardware needed. And the analog output means you're also free to use this as a standard guitar."

Watch the demo video here to see the new Fender Squire Strat in action:

YouTube preview picture

What do you think? Is this dumbing down guitar playing too far, or is it a milestone in the history of guitar production? Share your opinion in the comments.

93 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Or you use the money you bought the iPhone with to buy a real Fender.
    Could go both ways. It'd be cool if you download an amp app, plug in the headphones, and jam out.
    Don't they already have some app and addapter for this that works with any guitar?
    thats what i thought. just trying to make more money they are.
    yes and the adapter only cost like 25. This would be a huge waste of money
    But that adapter is not USB, probably. The Apogee Jam is a bit more expensive, but indeed it works with every guitar that has a jack-output.
    Cool, as long as the guitar isn't complete crap.
    That's kinda what pisses me off these days, they'll come up with an interesting idea, but put it in a first act or a Squier, so any usefulness it may have had is now pointless anyways.
    Or they'll come up with an interesting idea and pt it in a guitar so expensive that you have to sell your daughter to Croatian human traffickers to buy it. Yeah, I'm talking about you, Gibson Robot guitar.
    Americans.. talking shit about Croatia but i bet couldn't locate Europe on the map. Hell, probably couldn't locate USA!
    Where did the insults against America come from? Nowhere in this comment-thread did anyone say where they are from, yet you insult America? How does that make any sense?
    I'm from America..... And I just kinda pictured the comment coming from an American!! LOL. Probably a guy driving a big truck who is pissed that President Obama won the election Just my imagination, no actual judgement is being passed here.
    Insults against Americans came from insults against Croatians.. you could have connected that yourself.. I agree with Downfall93 btw
    I think they're just putting it in a more affordable model to see if it attracts customers and if there are any major complaints with the interface. If it catches on, we'll probably start seeing better models of guitars with this technology.
    But it never gets a chance to catch on because anyone who could really take advantage of the technology knows better than to buy the the shitty hardware that it's accompanied by, so the purpose is totally defeated.
    Pretty sure the article said Squier so ... yeah, the guitar is complete crap.
    Squier =/= bad guitars
    for the most part, yes it does.
    No, not really. A lot of the new squires (the $300 ones) are pretty good. Replace the tuners and the nuts, and thats a decent guitar. The electronics haven't been completely horrible. If you get an Affinity or bullet model, though, you get what you pay for.
    My first Affinity Strat actually comes out of tune if I lean it in any way. If I lean it forward or backward, it goes flat or sharp, respectively. The guitar is THAT kind of total crap. I am so glad I have my spalted Tele now...
    Like I said, if you replace the tuners and nuts, it won't go out of tune nearly as much. I did that on a Vintage Modified Jazzmaster, and it's probably one of the best guitars I've played in a while. I have no problem playing it alongside my Gibsons.
    It's actually a neck problem. The joint is loose, even when the screws are as tight as can be without cracking the wood. I don't know how, but that's the way it is. I have to keep it perfectly still. Using the tremolo is not an option. Like i said: total crap.
    I don't know what to tell you. I guess maybe I'm lucky and haven't run into those probllems yet. As I stated, I love the sound of those Vintage Modified Squires, and after putting on a decent set of locking tuners and a new nut, it's got almost perfect intonation. The neck is a whole other issue though.
    It used to play just fine. It might have been my switch to really-heavy .13 strings, keeping standard-tuning. The truss rod got messed up when I kept it at that kind of high-tension for months at a time (usually just as an emergency backup), and now the neck is all warped, no longer fitting into the pocket correctly. Even after my local guitar-tech tightened it, the truss-rod was a POS. --- With those ultra-high gauge strings, I can definitely say that I am primarily a rhythm player. I should have worked on my lead playing...
    To be honest, for $200 you could just buy yourself an interface and a few decent amp sims that would sound a LOT better than this.
    Maximus Rogue
    Should have made this for droid phones, way more possibilities and less restrictions.
    The problem is, that there's so many different brands of droid, using different connectors, that it would be near impossible to cover all bases, which i suppose is one advantage of IOS kit. I do agree though, i'd love a good interface and DAW for droid. Even if it's just proper USB Audio capability so i can use my current interface. Liam
    Why the **** would giving people more convenient ways of recording themselves be "dumbing down" guitar playing?
    Because for many people playing guitar is still having the guitar, an amp and fun. That's all it is. I hate apple devices and I don't believe I can quite get the right tone out of an iPhone but something as simple as this would be just great for recording if it doesn't destroy the sound quality.
    buy a $30 Rocksmith Tone Cable and you can do exactly the same thing with ANY guitar.
    Unfortunately the Tone Cable isn't known for lifespan or reliability. I've tried, it kinda sucks.
    So get a 1/4" female to female coupler, tape it to the table or whatever, plug the Rocksmith cable in one side and any normal instrument cable in the other. Problem solved.
    So... since it's USB couldn't it just as well work with a PC or Linux based DAW given the right drivers? Or did I miss Apple picking up the patent for USB, too?
    "How is that solo coming?".. guy picks up guitar, doesn't play a solo, sends it off to the band anyway. *****.
    Cool idea. Cool commercial. I could see it being pretty successful. Cheap guitars have come such a long way in the past 10 years, it's actually really impressive. This will be great for kids who's parents can't afford a guitar AND amp that will keep the kid rocking until they next guitar. iApprove
    They can't afford a guitar and an amp for their kids, but they can afford buying them an iPhone?
    Second-hand iPhone 3GS: 200$? Maybe even an iPod Touch, which is around the same. Maybe the kid bought it from working as a paperboy? Then the guitar could be a birthday gift or something. It's not THAT weird.
    iPhone4 is free with a 2 year contract. iPhone4S is $99 with 2 year contract. truly awesome computer+cellphone. I was an apple hater till I got iPhone4.
    Dick Foster
    Anything that makes you pay about a hundred bucks a month is certainly not FREE. It comes out to something like $2400 in montly installments. In past terminology it's known as the razor blade business. Give the razor away but rape them blind for the blades that only they make so you can use it. You'd have to be pretty stupid to fall for something so blatant. Unfortunatly there seems to be no shortage of stupid people for them to take advantage of. They're done as soon as they see FREE. The guitar is kind of a neat idea that like any technology has it's applications so will no doubt appeal to some. I look at it as a step up from those Paper Jam things or Guitar Hero instead of a real instrument. More of a toy for amuzement purposes only so I don't think you're likely to catch anyone doing jazz licks on it. Maybe it's good to get some interested in exploring music in more depth so it's not all a bad thing. USB to MIDI?
    Or just buy the cord rather than the guitar - apple sells adapters to the mac
    This is pretty cool, but it stays a gadget to me and it's not something I would look forward buying..The real thing stays the best
    Epiphone Ultra III had the USB capability, but is significantly more expensive. The idea is that, with a USB connection, you don't need to go through an interface. Since a guitar isn't line level, plugging it right into your computer is typically a poor idea. 200 for a guitar where an interface costs 90 or more... And then buying the guitar? Sounds like a steal.
    Or..you know...you could just NOT go out of your way to buy a Strat and just mic your amp. ;D
    There's a better thing called Irig that costs about 15 and you can use any guitar . . ,
    i got interested cause it said fender and then it said squier and i stopped reading
    "Are you lazy and can't find the time or enthusiasm to practice your parts for the band? Then here's the guitar for you." is what I got out of the video.
    Pretty awesome idea. Hope it can connect to PC as well..Is it just me or was that song quite nice also?
    I'm currently playing my guitar through the audio-in to my Mac in Garageband and there are gadgets to hook a guitar up to an iDevice already. I'm not sure what this new guitar offers that is totally unique.
    All these hardware gimmicks are worthless. Anyone who's serious about guitar playing will already have proper recording gear to make something like this redundand.
    I wish these were cheaper. It could have a great market as a very low budget beginner's guitar, but for the price you can still get one of those starter packs or just a cheap guitar with a cheap multi-effects that will probably sound a bit better.
    Good idea, now if only people did this kind of thing with a decent instrument. I've heard some iOS amp simulators that actually sounded pretty damn good. However, playing into them with a crappy guitar is just... ugh. I'd rather spend 25 bucks on an adapter so I can plug in my own instrument.
    What's the big deal? A $20 USB interface allows me to plug ANY of my guitars into my computer. Why do I need a special guitar?
    Danjo's Guitar
    I wonder if any part of that was actually recorded that way, because I'm willing to bet it wasn't. Fender is weird about this stuff though, all of their more experimental stuff is low end, squires or MIM. I'd like to see more experimentation (not this necessarily, I have a real amp) in their higher end stuff.