Apple rules over iOS with an iron fist, acting not only as gatekeeper to the App Store, but to hardware accessories, as well. That was made abundantly clear when we saw that the new Lightning connector introduced with the launch of the iPhone 5 included an authentication chip, letting Apple devices refuse to operate with unapproved accessories. Now one Kickstarter project has run up against the brick wall of Apple’s whims, and is refunding the $139,000 it raised thanks to Apple’s refusal to approve the device.
The gadget in question is called the POP, for “POrtable Power”. While there were plans for a plug-in version, the really interesting one was the POP Portable, a giant 26,000 mAh battery with retractable cords for powering all your devices at once. In order to achieve maximum compatibility, all these charging cords were originally designed to feature a dual microUSB/30-pin connector.
Funding for the project wrapped-up at the start of September, and just days later Apple made the Lightning connector official. Obviously, POP would need to support the new connector in order to remain relevant, so the team adjusted its design and contacted Apple for approval.
According to an email the designers of POP sent out to the project’s backers, Apple declined to grant approval to use the Lightning connector because it doesn’t want anyone making products that simultaneously support Lightning and other connector types.
That’s just really sad. It’s one thing for Apple to enforce design standards like that on accessories it releases itself, but to stamp-out innovation like this? Unnecessary.