When electronics firm Edison Jnr raised $139,170 on Kickstarter - more than twice the amount it was requesting - for its POP project, a station to charge multiple devices, Android, iPhone, iPad and more, it was thrilled. When it soon dawned on the company that Apple wouldn't approve its use of the Lightning dock connector, excitement turned to dismay. That decision has forced the small start-up to refund every penny raised.
It doesn't end there. Edison Jnr will also have to absorb credit card fees and Kickstarter fees, which will amount to around $11,000.
POP Portable and POP Station, intended to retail for $159 and $99 respectively, would have each charged up to four devices at once, using "dual-tip chargers" compatible with both Apple and micro-USB devices - such as Android phones and tablets.
The Station was designed to be permanently plugged into the wall, while the Portable version would have had several rechargeable batteries, so that you can use it on the move.
But CEO of Edison Junior, Jamie Siminoff, realised that there may be problems with getting Apple approval when he heard that the Cupertino giant wasn't even granting licenses to products with both a Lightning and older 30-pin connector. "We didn't get a yes or a no up front," Siminoff said to VentureBeat. "But as we kept going back and forth it was clear that it was getting harder. Then, when we saw that they weren't even going to allow a Lightning connector and a 30-pin connector together, we knew it was over.
"We are pissed," he added. "I think they are being a bunch of assholes, and I think they're hurting their customers.
The company now plans to redesign the POP so that it works with Android phones and tablets. It will also work with Apple products, but only if you own a micro-USB to 30-pin or Lightning connector yourself.
You can follow the POP project on its dedicated website at popportablepower.com.
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