Apple’s Refusal to License Lightning Kills Kickstarter Portable Charging Project POP

pop-charger-2Kickstarter project POP launched with the aim of reducing the cable clutter associated with charging multiple portable devices like iPhones, iPads and Android phones, by including the required connectors within the main charging unit itself. Apple, however, didn’t find the idea so appealing, and refused to licence the Lightning connector technology to Edison Junior, the creators of the project, effectively killing the project.

Kickstarter users found POP quite appealing and collectively contributed $139,170 to the project, nearly three times the initial funding goal of $50,000. Edison Junior is now planning on returning the entire funding amount to backers, and absorbing the 8 percent credit card fees, amounting to $11,000.

What exactly was Apple’s reason for a refusal? Here’s an excerpt from Edison Junior’s letter to its 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.

The team behind the project didn’t want to release POP without support for newer Lightning devices and disappoint its backers, which is why they arrived at the decision of issuing refunds to everyone.

pop-charger-1

The team now plans on altering the original POP charger and adding support for USB-to-Lightning cables so that newer iOS devices remain compatible with the charger.

Here’s the entire letter explaining Edison Junior’s decision:

I’ll never forget the moment when our campaign passed the $50,000 goal and our dream of powering dying batteries became tangible. Our promise was simple: provide a portable charger that was capable of charging ALL of your devices including the anticipated iPhone 5, which at the time, had yet to be released.

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.

As we struggled with Apple we realized that Kickstarter did not have a mechanism for refunding everyone their money. Since we are not willing to compromise and build a crappy product, refunding the money is the only acceptable thing to do.

This sparked the idea that crowdfunding of physical products needed a place that was built around the intricacies they present, so a few weeks ago we launched our own crowdfunding site, Christie Street. Built from the ground up around product, Christie Street is designed to handle needs that can arise from products – such as refunds – in order to prevent compromised products from being delivered.

In order to process your refunds efficiently we are going to set you all up with Christie Street accounts, and there, you will be able to process your refunds. Since payment processing has little to no room for error, we still have some final testing to do before we can send out the instructions, so the plan is set for mid-January. Conversely, had we manually sent out the refunds to all 1,000 backers the process would probably have gone longer.

Providing full refunds means we will have to absorb a hit for both credit card (3%) and Kickstarter fees (5%) totaling over $11,000. Today we asked Kickstarter for the 5% fee they collected based on the circumstances, however regardless of their decision YOU WILL RECEIVE 100% OF YOUR MONEY BACK.

We don’t believe in selling a substandard, compromised product that only satisfies the needs of a few backers, as that was not our promise. So we can’t thank you enough for your incredible support and awesome feedback – we hope to collaborate again with you soon. If you have any issues please email me directly.

All the best,
Jamie

Here’s POP’s original pitching video, and a link to its Kickstarter page.

Via: Venture Beat

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  • razielpr

    Apple like the pigs they are

    • BoatBoy

      Another example of the people wanting something and Apple saying NO! You cannot have it!

  • Lawliet

    This is unfortunate. I had been looking forward to something like this and now we can’t have it.