Yesterday the news broke that popular Kickstarter project POP, the portable power station, was canceling the product and refunding the full $139,170 it had collected from backers, due to Apple’s refusal to license the Lightning charger in a device that includes multiple charging options.
The full story may not be quite as straightforward.
I had contacted Apple for comment, but Apple was only able to respond today to offer its side of the story. A few minutes ago, Apple released the following statement:
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.
From Apple’s perspective, it had released the Lightning spec as soon as the new connector was announced. Everything that was possible and not possible was clearly in the open, and it is simply due to technical, not political, economic, or strategic reasons, the old 30-pin connectors and the new Lightning connector cannot be combined.
That’s a little different that what I heard from Edison Junior CEO Jamie Siminoff, who said that the group worked with Apple for months on this with inconsistent and confusing answers.
“We didn’t get a yes or a no up front,” Siminoff said. “But as we kept going back and forth it was clear that it was getting harder.”
Refresh for updates; this is a breaking story.
Filed under: VentureBeat
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