Apple Nixes POP Portable Power Kickstarter Project Over Lightning Connectors

Thursday December 20, 2012 3:13 PM PST by Juli Clover
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:
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.

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.

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 25 months ago
remove the wires and have 6 usb ports instead, then bundle detachable short wires like :

or use a hacked up lightning port
Rating: 14 Votes
Posted: 25 months ago
They could do many things to fix this w/out having to cancel the project.:rolleyes:
Rating: 12 Votes
Posted: 25 months ago
"Hi, we're the idiots who sold something we didn't have the right to. Feel bad for us?"
Rating: 12 Votes
Posted: 25 months ago
I love (most) Apple products, but this blows. This is bad for consumers.
Rating: 7 Votes
Posted: 25 months ago
**** you, Apple. You design great products, but require us to pay royally for the privilege to kiss your ass.
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 25 months ago
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.
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 25 months ago
"Goodwill? We don't need no stinkin' goodwill. We're Apple."
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 25 months ago
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.
Rating: 5 Votes
Posted: 25 months ago

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.
Rating: 5 Votes
Posted: 25 months ago

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.
Rating: 4 Votes

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