Apple’s strict MFi terms force Kickstarter project to shut down

By , Dec 21, 2012

pop kickstarter

Back in September, things were going pretty good for the folks at Edison Junior. Their Kickstarter project POP, a portable power station, was a huge success, raising more than $100,000. And they were hoping to start shipping the accessory by early December.

But unfortunately, instead of mailing out POPs to their backers this month, Edison Junior is trying to figure out how to not go broke returning everyone’s money. It seems that Apple has rejected their application for a Lightning certificate, forcing them to shut down…

The POP, which was marketed as “The Intersection of Charging and Design,” was a portable charger that housed several charging cables, including a Lightning connector, the old 30-pin plug, and a micro-USB connector for charging Android and other non-Apple devices.

And this appears to be what Apple had a problem with. Apparently, in accordance with its new MFi (Made for iPhone) terms, Apple will not approve a product that uses a Lightning cable alongside any other charging cable — and yes, that even includes its own 30-pin connector.

Edison Junior’s CEO Jamie Siminoff spoke to VentureBeat (via MacRumors) about the whole ordeal:

“We are pissed. I think they are being a bunch of assholes, and I think they’re hurting their customers…

…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.”

Edison Junior is going to provide full refunds to all of its 1,000+ backers, who pledged a total of $139,170. But they’re not going to come out of this scott free — the company still owes some $11,000 in Kickstarter and credit card fees, which they’ll have to pay for out of pocket.

This isn’t the last we’ve heard of the POP, though. Siminoff says that his team will be re-focusing its efforts on a device that supports Android phones and tablets, as well as Apple products, as folks don’t mind using a Lightning-to-USB adapter, or an older 30-pin connector.

Ouch. What do you think about all of this? Was Apple out of line here?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1156114852 Sean Cua

    Actually it’s understandable that they wouldn’t want people to still use the old 30-pin charger so that more people will switch to the new apple products. They’re in the business of making money not pleasing customers.

    • J M

      If customers are pissed, they don’t make money.

    • RarestName

      Well, they’ve indirectly made a lot of customers angry.

  • http://twitter.com/ijohnson123 Rob Johnson

    Why don’t they just change it to a USB Port so you just have to use the cable that comes with your device?

    • http://twitter.com/Asad_1nfam0us iFancyYouInAHalalWay

      Thats actually a very good idea. Or even better would be this; just replace those 2 Lightning connectors with USB ports; and leave the Micro USBs and the 30-pin. And they can add a place somewhere to store a Lightning cable, so the owner doesn’t have to carry around their cable, if they wanna take it somewhere.

      • http://twitter.com/ijohnson123 Rob Johnson

        I agree!

    • http://twitter.com/FadiJabbour1 Fadi Jabbour

      the idea of this device is that you don’t have to curry your cable and adapter with you. or it going to be like any other external battery.

      • http://twitter.com/ijohnson123 Rob Johnson

        But wouldn’t that be better than no product at all?

      • http://twitter.com/FadiJabbour1 Fadi Jabbour

        Ya, you are right

  • J M

    It seems that before starting a project and getting funding they should have ensured they could have made the product, right? I understand they needed time to ramp up and everything but it seems straightforward (hindsight, 20/20, yada yada) to make sure you are even allowed to make what you are promoting…

  • Greyhound Mom

    There are actually third-party lightning courts available now, why don’t they just put those in there and sell it that way

    • Falk M.

      because the licensed ones are expensive as hell and the unlicensed ones probably draw attention from Apple and their lawyers.

  • http://twitter.com/mobilejray Jeff Ray

    If I were Edison Junior, I would just fulfill the orders and add the 30pin to lightning adapters with a note that says, “blame Apple”.

    • Falk M.

      Lawsuit for false advertising incoming.

  • http://twitter.com/rickz97 Ricky

    Lets help the creater of pop by donating :) at least we could help our brothers whos in need

  • http://twitter.com/digitalfeind Dani Hayes

    Apple and its bullshit.

  • jdshorrock

    This is their own fault. Should have ran their product through Apple first…

  • http://twitter.com/sivkai Siv

    According to the comments in their Kickstarter page, there seems to be some more underlying issues preventing its release, but are not being disclosed. Almost everyone still wants the product and they can use an adapter if they want to connect an iPhone 5; so cancelling the entire project based on this reason alone has raised eyebrows. My belief is that they made no progress on the manufacturing side, and are just using this excuse as an easy way out.

  • http://twitter.com/mdridwan Mohammad Ridwan

    Apple has problem with everything that’s not Apple made. This week they pulled one of the most useful app ‘AppShopper’ from the App Store because it didn’t comply with their new made up rule. I Love Apple to death but some of these bullshit move pisses the users off.

    • Falk M.

      They really pulled it now?
      Oh boy… Apple seems to try really hard to pi** everyone off.

      If they pull Appticker Push, I’m raging.

  • 12345678910@aol.com

    Apple shunned this and will develop something similar next year and claim they invented it. Oh and charge twice as much!

    • Falk M.

      An Apple external battery that charges Android phones?
      Two things are wrong here:

      1) Apple’s battery life is perfect. Don’t question it. Nobody wants a device 1mm thicker and gain an extra hour battery life on usage in return.
      2) Charging more than Apple products? As in, it’s marketed as such? lol…

      edit (12/23/2012):
      Apparently someone didn’t get it…
      Just to clear things up: I was being sarcastic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    eh

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ba-Tongxue/100003554938315 Ba Tongxue

    In this kind of case, Apple do act like a bunch of assholes