Apple’s guidelines for its new Lightning connector have forced a popular Kickstarter project that sourced almost $140,000 in funding — more than twice the amount it required — to close and refund all of its backers. Electronics firm Edison Jr designed a charging station compatible with a multitude of Android and iOS devices called the POP. But after exceeding its funding goal, it quickly realized that Apple wouldn’t approve it.
Edison Jr designed two POP devices: the POP Portable and the POP Station, which were set to retail at $159 and $99 respectively. Both featured the ability to charge up to four devices at any one time using “dual-tip chargers,” and in an effort to cater to both Android and iOS devices — new and old — it offered microUSB, Lightning, and 30-pin connectors.
There was obviously a huge deal of demand for these devices, because the POP sourced $139,170 on Kickstarter after asking for just $50,000. Unfortunately for Edison Jr and its would-be customers, Apple’s seemingly pointless Lightning guidelines have crushed the project.
Edison Jr CEO Jamie Siminoff explains his company “didn’t get a yes or a no up front” from Apple. “But as we kept going back and forth it was clear that it was getting harder. Then, when we saw that they weren’t even going to allow a Lightning connector and a 30-pin connector together, we knew it was over.”
“We are pissed,” Siminoff added. “I think they are being a bunch of assholes, and I think they’re hurting their customers.”
I must say I have to agree with Siminoff. I don’t understand the reason for rejecting accessories that have both a 30-pin connector and a Lightning connector. Apple may have valid reasons, but from the outside, it looks like a pointless rule that’s there purely to present an additional hurdle.
Edison Jr has now been forced to refund all of its customers and absorb more than $11,000 in credit card and Kickstarter fees. It’s now going to work on redesigning the POP so that it works as intended, but only if customers already have their own Lightning and 30-pin cables.
What do you think about Apple’s Lightning rules? Are they too strict, and could the Cupertino company have been a little more flexible? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Update: Good news: after all the outcry, Apple has backtracked and tweaked its Lightning rules to allow for the POP Station.