Apple alters MFi guidelines following Kickstarter project fiasco

By , Dec 21, 2012

pop kickstarter

Earlier today, we told you about the unfortunate story of POP, the portable power station. In just a few short months, the accessory went from a popular Kickstarter project with over $100,000 in funding, to essentially deadweight due to Apple denying their request for a MFi license.

The problem was, the POP’s use of other charging cables in conjunction with the new Lightning connector violated Apple’s Made For iPhone terms, thus leading to the license rejection. Well today, following the story, Apple has updated its MFi guidelines and released a statement…

CNET, who spoke with Apple this afternoon, reports:

“Our technical specifications provide clear guidelines for developing accessories and they are available to MFi licensees for free,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr told CNET. “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.”

Neumayr added that Apple has updated its MFi guidelines to allow accessories to work with both types of connectors to charge devices. The news comes just 12 hours after POP creator Jamie Siminoff announced plans to refund some $139,000 to over 1000 backers of the POP project.

“If it has to be an Apple-only product, and Lightning can’t be next to, say, an Android charger, then it’s still not something we want to make,” Siminoff told ArsTechnica after learning of the updated guidelines. “I hope they become customer friendly. Maybe we will be able to do this after all.”

It seems, at least for now anyway, Apple has avoided a PR nightmare. What do you think?

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  • Jordan Dixon

    The guys creating the POP failed. They’re using Apple as an excuse for their failure.

    • Reneiver

      Oh so Jamie Siminoff told Apple to deny their MFi Application so that they can face huge credit card bills and refund everybody from their own pockets? Cool story.

      • http://twitter.com/sivkai Siv

        Look into the whole fiasco. Siminoff is actually promoting his own crowdfunding site in the fallout of all this. Look at their Kickstarter page and you will see.

    • Dan

      that’s BS, Apple are just being dicks, always the same exclusivity crap

      • http://twitter.com/PhilBeez86 U Kn0w What 1t 1s

        Obviously an Android owner

      • Dan

        Apple AND android owner actually (or else I wouldn’t be here), and I stand by my comment although I admit I could have presented it in a more mature fashion

  • seyss

    fail

  • SimonReidy

    Why the hell won’t Apple allow a lightening connector next to an “Android one” (given Android is primarily just industry standard MicroUSB). That’s just pompous restrictive bullshit. Do they really expect all households to have 100% Apple products only? It’s like they’d rather pretend Android didn’t exist. Apple really have to learn to play nice with competitors in some regards if they want respect.

    The POP product saga is a bit wierd though. Why not just stick to USB connectors that people can then plug their lightening cables into? And it seems a little conveniant that they were so quick to cancel the POP after learning of the lightening issue, and then refund everyone via a kickstarter competitor page which just so happens to be run by the guy that invented the POP. Something doesn’t add up, or perhaps I’m just imagining a mini conspiracy.

  • iUser2012

    Apple has been restrictive on hardware since early Mac days. This led the company to its doom until Steve Jobs returned and started to introduce iDevices. Yet they still insisted on making more money on hardware which are definitely much more expensive than their alternatives.

    This MFi scheme is there to ensure Apple continues to make huge money on low cost hardware both through device sales and Lightning chips. This may continue to work for a while as there are still millions of people ready to buy a piece of wood with Apple logo on it. However, Apple is clearly losing innovative pace and rivals are improving in design and software and this would hurt Apple sooner that they expect if the company continues to limit 3rd parties. Remember how MS-DOS and IBM compatible PCs overwhelmed then better performing Mac computers…

    For stereotypical comment makers: I own iOS devices and no Android. So think before becoming an Apple advocate.