December 24, 2012
Crowdfunded Charging Station Resurrected Following Change To Apple Policy
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
The Kickstarter campaign for a portable charging station capable of charging multiple types of devices that was taken down by Apple last week now lives once again.As reported on Friday by redOrbit.com's own Michael Harper, Apple reportedly refused to license the POP multipurpose charger, which was designed by James Siminoff and the Edison Junior Design Laboratory, because it used both types of the connectors developed by the company.
Apple appears to have done a 180-degree turnaround on their stance, however, as Jacqui Cheng of Ars Technica reports the company reviewed the "Made for iPod" (MFi) certification requirements that prevented devices like POP from accommodating both the old and new style connections and will now permit companies to develop devices that feature "30-pin and Lightning connectors side-by-side for charging purposes."
"Our technical specifications provide clear guidelines for developing accessories, and they are available to MFi licensees for free. We support accessories that integrate USB and Lightning connectors, but there were technical issues that prevented accessories from integrating 30-pin and Lightning connectors, so our guidelines did not allow this. We have been working to resolve this and have updated our guidelines to allow accessories to integrate both 30-pin and Lightning connectors to support charging," the company said in a statement, according to VentureBeat's John Koetsier.
On Sunday afternoon, Siminoff posted an update to the project's Kickstarter page confirming development of the charging station (as well as a portable version of the device) would continue.
"Based on Apple's change we can make POP the way we had promised and the project is back on. We will not be processing refunds and are going full speed ahead to produce and deliver the product to you ASAP," he wrote. "We hope to do another update in the next 7-10 days to give you a new estimated delivery date. Happy Holidays and thank you to everyone that has stood by us and helped us through this process. We are thrilled to finally be able to bring this great product to you."
Similoff's team has raised more than $139,000 towards development of the POP, and had Apple not decided to change their guidelines, they would have had to return all the money collected from backers. It would have been the largest refund in Kickstarter´s history, and they said that would have cost them $11,000 out of pocket in fees from credit card companies and the crowdfunding website itself.
Though this story has a happy ending, Cheng notes the incident that led to the project's temporary cancellation "highlights some of the problems accessory creators can face when using Kickstarter to fund yet-to-be-created projects -- especially as they relate to Apple accessories."