Apple Nixes POP Portable Power Kickstarter Project Over Lightning Connectors

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Kickstarter project POP, a portable power station, has been shut down by Apple, after the Cupertino-based company refused to license its Lightning charger to Edison Junior, 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.


    Edison Junior CEO Jamie Siminoff spoke to VentureBeat and had this to say about Apple's decision:
    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.
    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.

    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
  2. komodrone macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2011
  3. CWallace, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012

    CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    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.
  4. nostaws macrumors 6502


    Jan 14, 2006
    I love (most) Apple products, but this blows. This is bad for consumers.
  5. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    They could do many things to fix this w/out having to cancel the project.:rolleyes:
  6. iOzzie macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2010
  7. BobCollins, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2012

    BobCollins macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Sunnyvale CA USA
    **** you, Apple. You design great products, but require us to pay royally for the privilege to kiss your ass.
  8. goatless macrumors member


    Oct 19, 2009
    "Goodwill? We don't need no stinkin' goodwill. We're Apple."
  9. iVoid macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2007
    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.
  10. ProVideo macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2011
    Looks like a coffeemaker and a trash can mated.
  11. bandalay macrumors regular


    Apr 19, 2010

    "Hi, we're the idiots who sold something we didn't have the right to. Feel bad for us?"
  12. brad.c, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012

    brad.c macrumors 68020


    Aug 23, 2004
    50.813669°, -2.474796°
    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.
  13. SoGood, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2012

    SoGood macrumors 6502


    Apr 9, 2003
    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.


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


    Feb 19, 2005
    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.
  15. superman23 macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2011
    they would be sued.
  16. Saladinos macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
    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.
  17. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    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.
  18. timd.mackey macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2010
    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.
  19. kindadukish macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2006
    Huh? Give me a break

    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.
  20. duervo macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2011
    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.
  21. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
    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.
  22. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    City of Angels
    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
  23. jbh001 macrumors member

    May 14, 2003
  24. gkpm macrumors 6502


    Jul 15, 2010
    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.
  25. ufwa macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2011
    its a bit unclear when this was added. I think rumors started around august.

    but under the FAQ

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

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