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iControlPad unofficial iPhone gamepad coming soon

An unofficial gaming peripheral for the iPhone called the iControlPad is now ready for production, with 3,000 said to be ready for order in September.

Fed up with using your iPhone's touchscreen for games and looking for a proper gamepad experience? Look no further, because the iControlPad will be with you soon.

The device has been in development for some time. It allows you to fit a jailbroken iPhone in between two side clips that hold a gamepad below the phone in landscape mode, like you would a Nintendo DS. It's connected with a sync cable.

A different form of the iControlPad appeared before in 2008, but the developers decided not to go with that design, as it resulted in poor controls and had a problem where you couldn't use it on different devices.

Designer Craig Rothwell says the new design locks the iPhone in place with a padlock connected with a spring mechanism. It also has an integrated battery, which Rothwell claims could double the iPhone's battery life for gaming.

It doesn't have Apple support, which means games have to be specially written to take advantage of the controller, and you do need to have jailbroken your phone, Electricpig reports.

But Rothwell's Twitter feed revealed he's hoping to release an app which would allow you to configure the jailbroken phone to work with the iControlPad. He's also hoping to branch out into different devices such as BlackBerrys and Android phones.

If you're interested, his feed is the first place you'll hear about how to buy the iControlPad, which will have an initial run of 3,000 units in September. There's also a mailing list, which you can sign up to on the iControlPad website. Pricing hasn't been announced.

We don't want to rain on the parade -- we think it's an excellent concept -- but you we think it's sensible to be slightly wary of buying unofficial accessories from small manufacturers with no business history. That's not to imply any nefarious motive, but don't expect a proper warranty and after-sales care.

So what do you think about the iControlPad? Would you buy one, even if it lacks Apple support and needs a jailbroken phone? As usual, let us know in the comments.