Apple’s rules about Lightning plug force start-up to return Kickstarter funds

Apple’s rules about Lightning plug force start-up to return Kickstarter funds
It will end up being the largest Kickstarter refund on record, over $100,000. It all started the an idea for a product called POP (aka Point of Power). POP is a rechargeable, portable, multi-device charging station with an unassuming design.

Inside was a 26,000mAh battery pack which could provide power to your devices whether you were near an outlet or not, and it had retractable cords. There were two designs planned, POP Station (with a plug, good for a central charging point in the house or office) and POP Portable.

Their goal back in September was to raise $50,000 in 45 days. Instead, they raised it in just over two days. Once the fundraising window was closed this past September, POP had accumulated $139,170 in pledges. Needless to say, the folks at Edison, Jr. were thrilled with the outcome and they were ready to make things happen as soon as they had the needed specifications for the Lightning adapter. Knowing how popular the iPhone 5 was going to be, Edison, Jr. committed to ensuring that the POP would support the iPhone 5, or it would not produce the accessory.

As you well know, the Lightning adapter is not just proprietary like the previous 30-pin, it is a secured accessory with its own rudimentary authentication chip embedded inside. It did not take long for outfitters in China to crack that thing open and offer an affordable alternative to Apple’s $30 Lightning cable. 

While Edison, Jr. awaited the word from Apple to get the go-ahead to use the Lightning plug (a new process where all accessory manufacturers have to “apply” to Apple), they provided updates to their patiently waiting backers. Finally, the word came and it was not good news. Apple has a policy now in place in which it will not permit the Lightning plug to be used as a part of a device in which other plugs are present, even Apple’s own 30-pin plug.

Edison, Jr. decided that if it could not offer the product of its intended design, and that it would not compromise or leave out a Lightning plug, there was no other option but to refund everyone’s money. Providing adapters was not an option because it would drive the wholesale cost of each unit up by about $50, which made no sense, according to Jamie Siminoff, Edison, Jr.’s “chief inventor.” Naturally, many of the backers were pretty disappointed, some were supportive. Kickstarter does not have a refund mechanism, but Edison, Jr. has guaranteed a 100% refund of money to 1,000 backers.

The gang at Edison, Jr. said they will examine the idea to accommodate a USB-only design, but the challenge with that is the lack of retail interest (of which there was a lot for the true “all-in-one” POP design). Unfortunately, this is the reality of proprietary designs and standards. Those that own the technology make their own rules. It is too bad the rules knocked a neat idea out before it even got started.

sources: Edison, Jr., via The Verge and Wired



34. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Uh oh... looks like Apple didn't want the bad PR. They've reversed their decision I hear. The POP now has the green light.

33. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Dunno what's more sad, the fact that Apple denied their rights to use the lightning connector, or the fact that the company manufacturing this accessory is backing out of this because they cant cater to the Apple minority when most cellphones use USB/MicroUSB and thus would have plenty of a market for the device, but because they cant cater to Apple, they wont produce it.

32. dragonscourgex

Posts: 307; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

I think they would have still sold a good bit of them without the lighting connector.

31. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

And in the near future the revolutionary "Apple Juice" will be unveiled sporting a Lightning connector, a 26,000mAh battery pack, a retractable cord...

29. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

CrappIe killed innovation once again. OH HAIL APPLE... This device was going to be really affordable. I would have bought one especially for camping. Too bad. Phonearena started banning Apple related bashing words now. Wow... It wasnt even that bad.

26. cjslman

Posts: 23; Member since: Aug 29, 2012

I have never owned an Apple product but have always thought that their products were good and reliable and had a respect for the company... but this is really absurd and stupid on Apple's part. I think it's a big mistake. As for their products, I don't think I will be a client for any of their products in the future. Pity...

19. nando2do

Posts: 53; Member since: Nov 10, 2011

i think the solution its been there since the beginning, it has usb connectors, just take out the stupid apple connector and leave the micro usb and those other 2 usb plugs under it, that way people that owns apple products can use their cable.. is not that complicated..

28. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

They mention in the article, that the whole point of making the product was to have an all cable option in one. If the apple connector was missing it wouldnt be an all-in-one device.

15. ckoch125

Posts: 193; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Apple killing innovation again...

18. tedkord

Posts: 17544; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

At this point, I don't think Apple even remembers what innovation is. It's just been so long.

11. Mobilephile

Posts: 175; Member since: Nov 25, 2012

This is one of very reasons why Apple is hated on so badly....absolutely no respect for this company

10. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

Love the idea.. we Apple users relay on only the best... other than Apple maps we have no reason for complaints.. we cant relay on cheap 3rd party vendors... thanks Apple for protecting our investment.

13. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

How deluded you can be...

17. tedkord

Posts: 17544; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

All bow to the King of Trolls.

20. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

I think you may be mentally retarded.

22. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

You actually think Siri is useful? Lmfao wow.

24. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Protecting your investment? They are protecting theirs at cost of your freedom ... oh what is it called ... jailed garden? or a "Apple Prison Wall" that keeps getting higher ...

25. Aeires unregistered

Sometimes it's really hard to tell you and Mxy apart. You used to have some great comments that conversations could be built upon. Not lately.

27. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

So what you're saying is that there is no more room for any manufacturers other than what is around now? Got to be the dumbest thing I've heard you post. They may have just killed the next Belkin or Griffin, because all of those companies started where these guys are now. So go Apple, limit my number of phone manufacturers, limit my number of accessory makers, YAY! Because you know that what you're buying isn't any good unless you're paying twice what everyone else is, that's just common sense. Btw, the second paragraph is sarcasm since that seems to need to be pointed out lately.

9. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Wow, really Apple? Every time I think I can't find another example of Apple pulling bulls**t that hurts others, I'm proven wrong.

8. MikeG77

Posts: 430; Member since: Nov 24, 2008

I'm just curious why they didn't just offer the device with out any cables that way the consumer provides there own. You watch Apple is going to take this idea and supposedly "improve" on it like Siri and claim they invented it.

7. thelegend6657 unregistered

Screw apple . I would like to have that . I guess apple's customer like me will be pretty disappointed as well

6. Astro551

Posts: 46; Member since: Dec 18, 2011 you suck man.

5. androidisbaws

Posts: 74; Member since: Dec 17, 2012

Just make it for android, it could be a device that kills your grandma and you'd still have all the freedom to make it, but Ebenezer Applescrooge won't let you.

3. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 915; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

Awesome device and very useful. Shame apples greed prevented them from making it. This is one of the many reasons I stopped buying apple products.

4. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

It isn't new idea but I agree with you that in some circumstances it may be useful.

2. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

It is just me or it looks like a TRASH CAN?

1. MeoCao unregistered

Poor guys, they try to offer Apple's users more choice but they should have known better why Apple used that proprietary port in the first place.

12. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

Yeah they are. Apple is being ridiculous here. 'We will not allow presence of Lightning connectors where other connectors are present Pure BS. Stop manufacturing the goddamn adapters and lightning to USB cables right now. It has presence of other ports. Remove all the ports from macs and live on that lightning. Hypocrites :(

16. ckoch125

Posts: 193; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Typical apple. I'm sure they will come out with something like this now, claim they invented it and how they own everything like usual

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