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MacRumors
Dec 20, 2012, 05:13 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/12/20/apple-nixes-pop-portable-power-kickstarter-project-over-lightning-connectors/)


Kickstarter project POP (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/siminoff/pop-the-intersection-of-charging-and-design?ref=live), a portable power station, has been shut down by Apple, after the Cupertino-based company refused to license its Lightning charger to Edison Junior (http://edisonjunior.com), the design lab behind the product.

POP, which was tagged by the creators as "The Intersection of Charging and Design" aimed to combine a variety of charging cables into one product, including the Lightning connector, Apple's 30-pin connector, and a micro-USB connector for charging non-Apple devices.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/12/pop-500x371.jpg

Edison Junior CEO Jamie Siminoff spoke to VentureBeat (http://venturebeat.com/2012/12/20/apple-kills-a-kickstarter-project-portable-power-project-pop-refunding-139170-to-backers/) and had this to say about Apple's decision:We are pissed. I think they are being a bunch of [jerks], and I think they're hurting their customers.The issue, it seems, was the use of a Lightning connector alongside a 30-pin connector, as Edison Junior explained in a note to Kickstarter backers.When Apple officially announced the move to Lightning we determined the best course of action was to incorporate two Lightning chargers, and two 30-pins (along with the four micro-USB's). After applying to Apple (which is now required for Lightning), we learned that they are no longer willing to approve a product that uses the Lightning charger alongside any other charger (including their own 30-pin - seriously). Just like that, POP could no longer fulfill its true promise.Edison Junior is planning to provide full refunds to all of its 1,000 backers, who pledged a total of $139,170, even though it will cost the company more than $11,000 in Kickstarter and credit card fees. The company is hoping to recover some of the cost from Kickstarter, which does not have a mechanism for refunds, forcing Edison Junior to seek help from their own crowdfunding site, Christie Street (https://secure.christiestreet.com).

According to Siminoff, Edison Junior plans to continue developing a similar product that will indirectly support Apple iDevices with a Lightning-to-USB connector or a 30-pin connector.

Article Link: Apple Nixes POP Portable Power Kickstarter Project Over Lightning Connectors (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/12/20/apple-nixes-pop-portable-power-kickstarter-project-over-lightning-connectors/)



komodrone
Dec 20, 2012, 05:18 PM
remove the wires and have 6 usb ports instead, then bundle detachable short wires like : http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2088143118/nomad-lightning-cable-for-iphone-5-and-ipad-mini?ref=live

or use a hacked up lightning port

CWallace
Dec 20, 2012, 05:19 PM
I'm guessing Apple's licensing rules do not allow Lightning and Legacy connections in the same device?

Looking at the Kickstarter site, they make no mention of Lightning. So not like they can be accused of fraud.

The adapters are both micro-USB and 30-pin and the device has two USB ports below, so why not just connect normal USB to Lightning cables there? The KS site specifically mentions those USB ports can be used to charge other devices with different connections.

Okay, offering one of the four retractable cables with Lightning is nice, but I see no reason why this project can't be carried on as it is shown.

nostaws
Dec 20, 2012, 05:19 PM
I love (most) Apple products, but this blows. This is bad for consumers.

Carlanga
Dec 20, 2012, 05:19 PM
They could do many things to fix this w/out having to cancel the project.:rolleyes:

iOzzie
Dec 20, 2012, 05:22 PM
remove the wires and have 6 usb ports instead, then bundle detachable short wires like : http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2088143118/nomad-lightning-cable-for-iphone-5-and-ipad-mini?ref=live

This. Decision sucks, but implement a "legal" and still functional work around for your customers.

BobCollins
Dec 20, 2012, 05:26 PM
**** you, Apple. You design great products, but require us to pay royally for the privilege to kiss your ass.

goatless
Dec 20, 2012, 05:27 PM
"Goodwill? We don't need no stinkin' goodwill. We're Apple."

iVoid
Dec 20, 2012, 05:31 PM
remove the wires and have 6 usb ports instead, then bundle detachable short wires like : http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2088143118/nomad-lightning-cable-for-iphone-5-and-ipad-mini?ref=live

or use a hacked up lightning port

Yeah, canceling the product is stupid (as stupid as apple for not licensing the new connector for this--excuse me but APPLE sells cables/adapters with both on a single product (granted they are going from the old to the new, but still...)).

Either go the unapproved route or just put usb ports inside that they can connect lightning cables to.

"According to Siminoff, Edison Junior plans to continue developing a similar product that will indirectly support Apple iDevices with a Lightning-to-USB connector or a 30-pin connector."

Which seems like what he's planning on doing. Not sure why they have to cancel and start a new product.

ProVideo
Dec 20, 2012, 05:31 PM
Looks like a coffeemaker and a trash can mated.

bandalay
Dec 20, 2012, 05:35 PM
"Hi, we're the idiots who sold something we didn't have the right to. Feel bad for us?"

brad.c
Dec 20, 2012, 05:39 PM
What's the return on playing the drama card...?

Sucks for them that Apple is playing it this way, but I don't have much sympathy if they think their product is too good for non-Thunderbolt devices.

Edit: whoops, I mean Lightning. Get my meteorological connections confused.

SoGood
Dec 20, 2012, 05:43 PM
Irrespective of Apple's policy on how Lightning cables are licensed, a response of the sort "We are pissed. I think they are being a bunch of [jerks], and I think they're hurting their customers.", I am not surprised Apple would not deal with such a business entity.

Fact of the matter is, these developers would make more money (no licensing cost) by using one of those quality 3rd party suppliers of Lightning cables. They had no excuse to can the project just on Apple's decision. Sounds like a real cop out to me.

----------

**** you, Apple. You design great products, but require us to pay royally for the privilege to kiss your ass.

Designing great products is not free. A very simple and basic justification for royalties, all sensible K4 kids understand that.

GoCubsGo
Dec 20, 2012, 05:46 PM
"Hi, we're the idiots who sold something we didn't have the right to. Feel bad for us?"

Didn't they say they applied to Apple?

But really, they should have found out if they could do this before even starting a Kickstarter project. I still believe Apple is just making things difficult though.

superman23
Dec 20, 2012, 05:55 PM
Fact of the matter is, these developers would make more money (no licensing cost) by using one of those quality 3rd party suppliers of Lightning cables. They had no excuse to can the project just on Apple's decision. Sounds like a real cop out to me.

they would be sued.

Saladinos
Dec 20, 2012, 05:58 PM
Looks like a coffeemaker and a trash can mated.

You may feel like that, but one of the best things about the 30-pin ecosystem was the sheer number and variety of accessories there were.

Apple may be doing themselves and their customers a disservice in being so restrictive around the lightning port.

nagromme
Dec 20, 2012, 06:04 PM
Sounds like a stupid and needless rule if it’s truly as simple as that. (Which it may be!)

Apple still sells a bunch of 30-pin iOS models, for Pete’s sake.

Maybe they can clone it instead of licensing it formally? Maybe they should have figured this out sooner—but I still sympathize with their frustration.

timd.mackey
Dec 20, 2012, 06:06 PM
"Hi, we're the idiots who sold something we didn't have the right to. Feel bad for us?"

This project was developed and funded months ago, before the iPhone 5 was ever announced. There's no way the company could have predicted that Apple would create such a ridiculous arbitrary rule like this.

kindadukish
Dec 20, 2012, 06:13 PM
Give me a break. This device/product is much more useful, likely to last longer -- and thus will be less wasteful in regards to the environment -- if it simply offers powered USB ports for charging.

If Apple wants to keep things simple by not confusing people about which generation of connector they have moved to, that makes some sense. Apple has often emphasized simplicity over the super duper multi functionality Swiss Army knife approach of the Windows world. Frankly, while frustrating some, that approach is one of the things that many people like about Apple.

But of course if it just offered USB ports, then it's basically a powered USB port, but without the port (ie, the connection to your computer -- which they might as well add anyway). That's a lot less cool, I suppose, and that may be what this is about.

duervo
Dec 20, 2012, 06:43 PM
Considering that the KS project began with no mention of Lightning capability in the first place, only being added after-the-fact once Lightning was officially announced, I have to question the sincerity behind the project creator's reasons for canceling the entire project and giving people back their money.

Something smells fishy there, and I think they probably ran into other problems, either from a logistical, design, and/or supply perspective.

I don't buy their excuse.

JoeG4
Dec 20, 2012, 06:53 PM
Looking at the devices, the cords were retracting and so just using regular USB ports wouldn't have sufficed, plus not having lightning connectors probably would have turned away lots of customers.

This one's understandable.

Liquorpuki
Dec 20, 2012, 07:37 PM
Apple's trying to phase out 30 pin and they don't commoditize hardware so it makes sense why they'd want licensees to go all in on lightning.

I'm wondering if it's possible for that Kickstarter to use non-official connectors

jbh001
Dec 20, 2012, 07:54 PM
So a simple kludge would be to swap out the lightning cable for an additional 30-pin connector cable with a lightning adapter attached. http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD823ZM/A/lightning-to-30-pin-adapter?fnode=45

gkpm
Dec 20, 2012, 08:05 PM
Erm all the charging connectors on the POP charger are microUSB, they were already using some sliding microUSB-to-30pin adapters since the prototype stage and they said the adapters would stay. See their photos.

The project was funded before the iPhone 5 was announced. No one made a pledge for a lightning connectors, so they could just tell people to buy a microUSB-Lightning adapter (official from Apple at $19 or EBay clones for $7)

This is just BS either to hide some mistake they made in design or planning (price is way too cheap to include a real 26000 mAh Li-ion battery), or to pull a bait and switch to the guy's own crowdfunding platform. Maybe both.

Blaming this on Apple gives them a coverup for their own asshattery and comes with the bonus of putting their new crowdfunding site on the news.

ufwa
Dec 20, 2012, 08:11 PM
its a bit unclear when this was added. I think rumors started around august.

but under the FAQ

What happens if the iPhone 5 has a different charger?

Well, it is difficult to give a clear answer at this point as no one knows what is going to happen with the iPhone 5. However, if the iPhone 5 does have a 19 pin connector as rumored, our plan is to ship with 2 iPhone 5 connectors and 2 standard 30 PIN connectors. This way you will be able to charge the old and new devices. We should know by mid-September what Apple is doing which will give us more than enough time to modify the product for the iPhone 5.

Sounds to me they planned/wanted to include such and adapters, not tell people to go buy the adapter from apple.

amoebaruler
Dec 20, 2012, 08:33 PM
and who is going to carry this around to charge an iphone?

macbeta
Dec 20, 2012, 08:51 PM
Yea I have to agree, apple are being jerks. I'm sick of propriety rubbish, way worse than sony ever was. Its a cheeky way to squeeze up the spend /per /user mentality.

Sardonick007
Dec 20, 2012, 09:12 PM
Would it not have been prudent to obtain permission prior to soliciting funds?

charlituna
Dec 20, 2012, 10:00 PM
Apple may be doing themselves and their customers a disservice in being so restrictive around the lightning port.

There could be a valid engineering reason behind the restriction. We haven't seem the details of the MFI program or this project.

Saladinos
Dec 20, 2012, 10:16 PM
There could be a valid engineering reason behind the restriction. We haven't seem the details of the MFI program or this project.

we learned that they are no longer willing to approve a product that uses the Lightning charger alongside any other charger (including their own 30-pin - seriously). Just like that, POP could no longer fulfill its true promise.

Nope. It's just Apple being arsy and not wanting lightning devices to include plugs for other devices.

This is Apple at its worst.

Eriden
Dec 20, 2012, 10:29 PM
Would it not have been prudent to obtain permission prior to soliciting funds?

With a project that has no upfront funding, it would be impossible to secure a license. My guess is that the 3rd Party manufacturers like Belkin, Griffin, ZAGG, etc, all pay VERY hefty fees to license the technology from Apple and heftier fees to have their production lines certified by Apple as part of the "Made for iDevice" program. Eight digit fees just to get started would be my guess. Joe Schmuck Kickstarter company isn't going to have that kind of money to pay Apple's fees.

I'm sure they were trying to use their Kickstarter funds to negotiate paying the licensing fees at a reduced rate. Apple's legal team probably sneered at their offer, and explained that if they cut one small company a break, the big dogs would be pissed and start demanding discounts as well.

Actually, the more likely scenario is that Apple explained nothing to this company and simply sent a two-word email back to the CEO in response to the request for negotiations: "No Thanks."

SoGood
Dec 20, 2012, 10:57 PM
they would be sued.

Doubt it for the tiny size of their project.

----------

Nope. It's just Apple being arsy and not wanting lightning devices to include plugs for other devices.

Nothing wrong with that to bring up uniformity and simplicity in a market. All these multi-function chargers and adaptors I've bought through the years have always had a very short working life ie. Waste of money.

nuckinfutz
Dec 21, 2012, 12:01 AM
This is Apple at its worst.

If so, then this is the nicest thing someone's said about Apple in years. In the end this isn't a big deal. Consumers are moving to wireless (Airplay & Bluetooth) for audio/video products and really there's going to be fewer needs for legacy contraptions that probably won't work well.

maxosx
Dec 21, 2012, 12:14 AM
It's just Apple doing what they've always done, being a company that locks in users for profit. Nothing new, Apple has the ability to sell what many others could not.

FelixDerKater
Dec 21, 2012, 01:41 AM
So, wait, Apple is becoming "the man"?

How did this band of rebels become so misguided by a moment of success?

theBB
Dec 21, 2012, 02:51 AM
You may feel like that, but one of the best things about the 30-pin ecosystem was the sheer number and variety of accessories there were.

Apple may be doing themselves and their customers a disservice in being so restrictive around the lightning port.
Doesn't the new cable includes a chip that transmits and receives on one end (or was it on both ends)? That is probably much more complicated to implement than just a mechanical connector from a 5 wire cable to 30 pin metal leads. Then, somebody has to run tests to make sure any new accessory is compatible with all the other products out there, current and future, and debug them if issues come up. I would not want to deal with these fly by night, mom and pop operations, either. Their immature comments and the sudden cancellation of the project makes Apple's rejection sound like a good business direction.

In the meantime, you are free to buy backwards engineered, non-certified products at a lower price and take your chances on quality. Amazon is pretty good with returns.

VulchR
Dec 21, 2012, 05:44 AM
If Apple were serious about encouraging people to adopt the new connector, they should make the specification available to all companies, including other mobile phone companies. Instead, they choose to get in the way of a start-up. Does Apple, which touts its green credentials, want me to discard all my legacy i-devices before their time? From the look of things they do. Why not simply offer the start-up a limited licence, say for three years? Then they could encourage the start-up to move completely to the new connector.

Bad :apple:.

Brian Y
Dec 21, 2012, 06:12 AM
If Apple were serious about encouraging people to adopt the new connector, they should make the specification available to all companies, including other mobile phone companies. Instead, they choose to get in the way of a start-up. Does Apple, which touts its green credentials, want me to discard all my legacy i-devices before their time? From the look of things they do. Why not simply offer the start-up a limited licence, say for three years? Then they could encourage the start-up to move completely to the new connector.

Bad :apple:.

We have no idea what the terms of the MFI platform are. It's obvious that, whatever they are, this company didn't meet them.

If you want to license someone's technology - you have to do it in a way that pleases them, or at least abides by their rules of doing so. I also think this guy is using Apple as a scapegoat for cancelling the project, having realised he might not make as much money as anticipated - people backed the project with it not supporting lightning, not having lightning is no reason to cancel it. And his reply makes him sound like the kind of person who would be like that (no business publicly calls their rivals/other companies "jerks").

superman23
Dec 21, 2012, 08:23 AM
With a project that has no upfront funding, it would be impossible to secure a license. My guess is that the 3rd Party manufacturers like Belkin, Griffin, ZAGG, etc, all pay VERY hefty fees to license the technology from Apple and heftier fees to have their production lines certified by Apple as part of the "Made for iDevice" program. Eight digit fees just to get started would be my guess. Joe Schmuck Kickstarter company isn't going to have that kind of money to pay Apple's fees.

I'm sure they were trying to use their Kickstarter funds to negotiate paying the licensing fees at a reduced rate. Apple's legal team probably sneered at their offer, and explained that if they cut one small company a break, the big dogs would be pissed and start demanding discounts as well.

Actually, the more likely scenario is that Apple explained nothing to this company and simply sent a two-word email back to the CEO in response to the request for negotiations: "No Thanks."

i dont think the fee is that bad. if you're a big company trying to sell an Apple Dock to Best Buy for $10, you might have a problem. the problem is getting approved by Apple. First, you have to follow all of their rules which severely limits creativity. Then, you have to submit your product for approval which is a process that could take years and bankrupt you. And then you get approved a week before the Lightning connector comes out (which had to be kept super secret) and so you have to start all over again! I don't know why any small business would still want to work with Apple. Enough already..

KnightWRX
Dec 21, 2012, 09:27 AM
If so, then this is the nicest thing someone's said about Apple in years. In the end this isn't a big deal. Consumers are moving to wireless (Airplay & Bluetooth) for audio/video products and really there's going to be fewer needs for legacy contraptions that probably won't work well.

This is for power charging. :rolleyes:

----------

We have no idea what the terms of the MFI platform are. It's obvious that, whatever they are, this company didn't meet them.

If you want to license someone's technology - you have to do it in a way that pleases them, or at least abides by their rules of doing so. I also think this guy is using Apple as a scapegoat for cancelling the project, having realised he might not make as much money as anticipated - people backed the project with it not supporting lightning, not having lightning is no reason to cancel it. And his reply makes him sound like the kind of person who would be like that (no business publicly calls their rivals/other companies "jerks").

2 things :

- The Article if you read it clearly states that Apple's reason for refusing the license was that the product would include other interfaces along with Lightning.
- The guy promised Lightning support before the end of his kickstarter but before Apple introduced the connector and provided licensing information, and thus now cannot deliver and will reimburse people.

The product is not cancelled, only the kickstarter funding. It says so right there in the nice article no one apparently bothered reading before jumping in to apologize for Apple on this.

JAT
Dec 21, 2012, 09:30 AM
remove the wires and have 6 usb ports instead, then bundle detachable short wires
Absolutely. I wouldn't buy a product like this with permanent wires. Honestly, how could so many people want this and support the Kickstart? Apple may be being jerks, but I think they just saved all the customers.

blueroom
Dec 21, 2012, 09:39 AM
1. Nix the built in cables and put a handful of USB ports in the bottom
2. Too big, not exactly portable
3. IMHO Integrated cables are a bad idea, any damage will result in sending the unit out for repair

I use a ~$80 Trent iCarrier 12,000mAH @ 5V = 60Wh (most chargers mAH rate their devices at 3.7V so buyer beware). The POP has a rating of 26,000mAH but no indication of the much more useful WH (Apple rates their batteries in WH).

Anyway. They got $100k so I guess there's a market.

Saladinos
Dec 21, 2012, 09:44 AM
Doesn't the new cable includes a chip that transmits and receives on one end (or was it on both ends)? That is probably much more complicated to implement than just a mechanical connector from a 5 wire cable to 30 pin metal leads. Then, somebody has to run tests to make sure any new accessory is compatible with all the other products out there, current and future, and debug them if issues come up. I would not want to deal with these fly by night, mom and pop operations, either. Their immature comments and the sudden cancellation of the project makes Apple's rejection sound like a good business direction.

In the meantime, you are free to buy backwards engineered, non-certified products at a lower price and take your chances on quality. Amazon is pretty good with returns.

These guys were trying to license from Apple.

glap1922
Dec 21, 2012, 10:24 AM
Would it not have been prudent to obtain permission prior to soliciting funds?

Please describe how they should have done that. They were funded before the iPhone5 was released, so was a previous kickstarter project of theirs a time machine?

Swytch
Dec 21, 2012, 10:36 AM
This project was developed and funded months ago, before the iPhone 5 was ever announced. There's no way the company could have predicted that Apple would create such a ridiculous arbitrary rule like this.

If thats the case, then they never promised a lightning connector to their backers in the kickstarter project and they have no reason to cancel the project. Just make it as it was originally described.

Ryth
Dec 21, 2012, 11:16 AM
Absolutely. I wouldn't buy a product like this with permanent wires. Honestly, how could so many people want this and support the Kickstart? Apple may be being jerks, but I think they just saved all the customers.

Exactly. Just put the USB ports on it and you don't even have to ship it with the cables since everyone has their own. In fact, by not including the cables, you don't make it an 'Apple' product, you make it a universal portable charger.

theBB
Dec 21, 2012, 11:24 AM
These guys were trying to license from Apple.
Licensing is just a contract and delivering technical documents is only the easiest part that comes after it. Who certifies that their accessory works properly? If problems come up, who assists them in debugging to see on which end lies the problem? Large suppliers routinely turn away small customers to save on support costs. This is not all that unusual.

tbrinkma
Dec 21, 2012, 11:33 AM
This project was developed and funded months ago, before the iPhone 5 was ever announced. There's no way the company could have predicted that Apple would create such a ridiculous arbitrary rule like this.

The project was developed and funded months ago, before the Lightning connector was ever announced. They should deliver the product they were funded to deliver, rather than blaming Apple because a design change attempted *after* the close of the funding drive didn't pan out. :eek:

ohbrilliance
Dec 21, 2012, 03:15 PM
Calling Apple jerks probably won't help their cause much! I don't imagine it will help in future negotiations or trying to have the product stocked at Apple. Not the brightest thing to do.

CWallace
Dec 21, 2012, 04:56 PM
Crisis Averted:

Apple Reverses Course on 30-Pin and Lightning Connector Guidelines
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1512251

JoeG4
Dec 21, 2012, 05:05 PM
I guess calling Apple jerks worked after all.

Frankly, I totally agree 100% on this one. Basically, Apple was saying that they didn't want chargers that support both lightning connectors and the old 30 pin connector. Why not? There's still a gazillion 30 pin devices out there, and not everyone wants to have to pay more $$ to support both, and in the case of this device in particular it makes no sense at all.

But hey, you're the guys with the iPhones, not me. If you want to cheer on things that are bad for you in the long run, go for it! I'll sit here laughing. *sigh* the joys of being a mac user.

ipsychedelic
Dec 21, 2012, 10:35 PM
Good one.

After all and no matter how you call it... lighting is nothing more than Apple wanting to charge for an overpriced USB cable with a little twist.

It sucks that Apple's ecosystem is so good... I wish I could hate them sometimes.

Now that kickstarter project gives me ideas, for an organized power-charging station on the room.

JoeG4
Dec 22, 2012, 01:19 AM
I'm not sure what Apple wanted to do with lightning, tbh. Didn't someone say that the problem with Apple's competitors was that they wanted to come up with something to make themselves unique instead of focusing on how to make a good product?

I see this one as a unique selling point in a way, if they licensed it out more freely you could get cheaper cables and maybe even other phones and electronics could use it.

Anyway, speaking of making good products, they could start making macbook power bricks with detachable/replaceable DC power cables.

CWallace
Dec 22, 2012, 12:09 PM
I'm not sure what Apple wanted to do with lightning, tbh.

The stated goal was to allow thinner components, however the two connectors are almost the same thickness. Lightning is narrower and it allows flexibility on what is carried over most of the connections. It can also be inserted with either side "up" and "down".

radio893fm
Dec 29, 2012, 11:57 AM
"Hi, we're the idiots who sold something we didn't have the right to. Feel bad for us?"

Easy on the kool-aid kid.

Beligerent
Dec 29, 2012, 01:01 PM
I dont see how Apple can think this doesnt leave a bad taste in consumers mouths. Granted most people will never hear this story and will happily chug along with their iToys..it's only tech geeks like us that will ever know about this. Apple has been nothing but terrible to developers, resellers and mostly to the innovative people that love their products. If I remember correctly (and I MIGHT be wrong) I believe Griffin Technology had a similar problem with Apples goons when they made the iTrip way back in like 2002