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Apple Kills a Kickstarter Project - Updated

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the there-is-but-one-way dept.

Businesses 471

Nerdfest writes "Venturebeat is reporting that a successfully funded Kickstarter project for a portable phone charger that works with both Apple and Android devices has been canceled because Apple wouldn't let the creators license its Lightning connector. Quoting: 'Edison Junior, the technology and design lab behind the POP portable power station, is returning the full $139,170 in funding it received from Kickstarter backers to develop the device. Unfortunately, Apple has refused to give the project permission to license the Lightning charger in a device that includes multiple charging options. ... "We didn’t get a yes or a no up front," Siminoff said. "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." He also said that, while Apple is a private company and can do whatever it wishes, it should watch out. "When you do things that are bad for the customer I think it will be bad for them.”''" Update: 12/21 22:16 GMT by S : Apple has relented. A spokesman for the company told Ars, "Our technical specifications provide clear guidelines for developing accessories and they are available to MFi licensees for free. 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. We have been working to resolve this and have updated our guidelines to allow accessories to integrate both 30-pin and Lightning connectors to support charging."

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Dear Apple (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42358817)

Dear Apple

Fuck you!

Yours sincerely

The sane people on the planet

Re:Dear Apple (5, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358849)

Dear Apple

Fuck you!

Yours sincerely

The sane people on the planet

Ah yes, the kickstarter project that began before the official release of the connector, that also features powered USB ports for charging "other devices with incompatible ports" and yet somehow the inability to roll in the Lightning port to a product that was begun before Apple even acknowledged it exists is "doomed".

I wonder, what's to stop iPhone 5 users from plugging in a Lightning cable into one of the powered USB ports on this device? Nothing? So why the need to cancel it?

Very odd.

Re:Dear Apple (3, Interesting)

Zocalo (252965) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358917)

Exactly my thoughts. I'm actually wondering if they fscked up somehow and are trying to set Apple up as a scapegoat. What is stopping them from just pressing ahead with every connector except the Lightning port and simply saying "we'd like to have done that, but Apple didn't let us" if they really want to draw attention to Apple's supposed monopolistic behaviour. It would still have been useful to everyone who doesn't have one of Apple's latest devices and if Apple ever changed their minds then a v2.0 version of the device, or maybe they could just make the connectors modular like some PSU connectors are and enable a potential compatability upgrade later?

Very odd indeed.

Re:Dear Apple (5, Informative)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358973)

RTFA.

This is not necessarily the end of the Edison Junior’s portable power project. Siminoff told me that the team will be re-focusing on a device that supports Android phones and tablets and Apple products as well, if backers wish to use a Lightning-to-USB connector, or an older 30-pin connector. They’ll only build that device, however, if the crowdfunding community wants it.

They want to do that, but they'd be building a different project than what people pledged for. So for obvious reasons they would need to start over.

Re:Dear Apple (3, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359019)

RTFA.

This is not necessarily the end of the Edison Junior’s portable power project. Siminoff told me that the team will be re-focusing on a device that supports Android phones and tablets and Apple products as well, if backers wish to use a Lightning-to-USB connector, or an older 30-pin connector. They’ll only build that device, however, if the crowdfunding community wants it.

They want to do that, but they'd be building a different project than what people pledged for. So for obvious reasons they would need to start over.

But they already are - the Lightning connector was not official when the project began, so how could they offer it?

If they started the project based on rumours of the new connector, or with a plan to include it *without* discussing terms with Apple first, then that was just silly.

Re:Dear Apple (3, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359027)

RTFA.

This is not necessarily the end of the Edison Junior’s portable power project. Siminoff told me that the team will be re-focusing on a device that supports Android phones and tablets and Apple products as well, if backers wish to use a Lightning-to-USB connector, or an older 30-pin connector. They’ll only build that device, however, if the crowdfunding community wants it.

They want to do that, but they'd be building a different project than what people pledged for. So for obvious reasons they would need to start over.

Or team up with someone who does have the license. If there is anyone.

Then again, could they manufacture a connector which coincidentally works?

Ah, such are the things a patent suit lawyer dreams of.

"Well kill them, then eviscerate them, then flay them, then give them a wedgie!"

Re:Dear Apple (2)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359137)

The fact is that they saw a niche in the charger market that wasn't being fulfilled (a mufti-purpose charger for Apple and Android devices). What they didn't know is that there was a REASON no one else had built said device (because Apple won't license it). I guess it pays to ask around a little before you start asking for funding. Sometimes you think to yourself "Why isn't anyone making this thing?" and find out the hard way that it's not just because they're short-sighted or hadn't thought of it too.

What would stop Apple's current downward slide? (3, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359401)

Yes, fearing Apple's destructiveness toward the world makes sense. But what you said directs attention away from the fact that Apple makes money partly by making products people want, and partly by being destructive toward those people.

Apple's current downward slide is good for the world, because it tends to limit Apple's hostility. What will stop Apple from becoming less and less relevant? The one-time opportunities to make a well-designed music player and a more sophisticated cell phone have come and gone.

Solution: No patents on connectors! (4, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359463)

More detail: It should not be possible to get a patent on a connector!!! All connectors and other standard ways of doing things like file system organizations must be in the public domain. Otherwise there are numerous opportunities for abuse.

Re:Dear Apple (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359001)

Hey want to buy this new charger that only works with old iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches but none of the current generation.....
Yea what is the problem with this?

Re:Dear Apple (2, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359051)

Hey want to buy this new charger that only works with old iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches but none of the current generation.....
Yea what is the problem with this?

The design had USB ports on it from the start that work with any device that doesn't have the ports it includes.

No problem with this... apparently, yet still cancelled.

Maybe they realised that they can't compete with things on Amazon that do exactly the same thing for $20.

Re:Dear Apple (3, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359197)

Maybe you haven't actually look at what the device does. You wouldn't get one with a built in battery for $20. Obviously they were offering something different or people would have just bought a $20 device off of Amazon rather than choosing to fund this project.

Re:Dear Apple (-1)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359351)

It charges mobile devices with a built in high-cap battery... just like the things you can buy on Amazon that charge your mobile device with a built in high-cap battery... for $20.

Re:Dear Apple (1)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359335)

They cancelled it because without the lightning connector, although still useful to many people, it would not be the device people pledged money for.

Re:Dear Apple (-1, Troll)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359389)

They cancelled it because without the lightning connector, although still useful to many people, it would not be the device people pledged money for.

How could they pledge money for a device promising the Lightning connector when the connector had not been officially announced when the project began?

Were they pledging for a rumoured product? I guess they can receive a rumour in the mail after paying up.

Re:Dear Apple (1)

Zocalo (252965) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359179)

For people that don't have, or ever intend to have, a device that uses Apple's Lightning connector? None at all. Believe it or not, there are plenty of people out there who would love to have a charging station like this that don't even own a single Apple product, depsite the obviously Apple inspired design elements.

As for those who have bought Apple's newer devices, or are considering doing so, it was pretty clear almost from the connector's launch that Apple was going to be heavily restricting access to third party licenses for the connector, at least in the early days. Apart from those who pre-ordered before the restrictions came to light, anyone who gets a device with a Lightning connector either didn't do their homework or decided they were happy with locking themselves into Apple's own products until (or if) that changed.

Re:Dear Apple (1, Interesting)

Dupple (1016592) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359223)

It was a scam all along.

1. Start a new website, competing with Kickstarter
2. think up a way to generate some media attention by creating an Apple-related product that's never intended for release.
3. Then tell everyone how Apple screwed you over.

Why not just supply multiple USB ports so people can use their own cables? Why not just make an alteration to BYO cables and offer a refund to any who didn’t want it like that?

No headlines and publicity for the site - that's why

Re:Dear Apple (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359369)

Exactly my thoughts. I'm actually wondering if they fscked up somehow and are trying to set Apple up as a scapegoat. What is stopping them from just pressing ahead with every connector except the Lightning port and simply saying "we'd like to have done that, but Apple didn't let us" if they really want to draw attention to Apple's supposed monopolistic behaviour. It would still have been useful to everyone who doesn't have one of Apple's latest devices and if Apple ever changed their minds then a v2.0 version of the device, or maybe they could just make the connectors modular like some PSU connectors are and enable a potential compatability upgrade later?

Very odd indeed.

Really? You wonder why they aren't going to go ahead selling their lightning-capable dock when they aren't allowed to, by instead saying "hey it has a USB port on it instead!" Talk about mislabeling, you must be in marketing. That's like selling an extension cord as "iPhone 5 compatible" with a tiny asterisk pointing to the footnote that "your own dc brick and cable are required". If I were in on this kickstarter (I don't own any lightning-equipped Apple shit so...) I would want my money back too. I have plenty of USB ports around.

Re:Dear Apple (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359043)

and yet somehow the inability to roll in the Lightning port to a product that was begun before Apple even acknowledged it exists is "doomed".

Why would they bother developing yet another USB charging hub? The entire point of this project centered around not needing to carry around 27 different dongles to all do effectively the same task at the same Li-ion-friendly voltage. Ironically enogh, we shouldn't even have a need for this [readwrite.com] , since Apple promised (and lied to) the EU to switch to a unified charging standard. Did they break the letter of the law? Apparently not. But does their latest proprietary CashGrab-enabled CopperInPlastic(tm) technology serve any purpose (to the end user) at all?

No. No, it does not. So yeah, Fuck Apple.


I wonder, what's to stop iPhone 5 users from plugging in a Lightning cable into one of the powered USB ports on this device? Nothing? So why the need to cancel it?

Just $20. Though I have no doubt, if they could make these things teleport nickels and dimes straight to Cupertino, they would have gone with that approach per-use instead.

Re:Dear Apple (2)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359123)

The iPhone does come with a Lightning cable, so $0.

Unless you want a spare.

Yes, the entire point of the project was to create a device where you didn't need a dongle... in a saturated market that is already flooded with portable charing devices. It also promised to supply a connector that Apple did not even officially acknowledge the existence of until later, without checking what the licensing terms would be (which was impossible because the connector did not exist officially yet).

I'm not seeing how this is Apple's fault - it's not as if their usual behaviour is uncommon here. The licensing around the original 30 pin was equally obtuse.

They gambled that it would be smooth sailing with the as-then-unannounced connector and pushed ahead with product development without having all of their ducks in a row.

Re:Dear Apple (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359341)

I'm not seeing how this is Apple's fault - it's not as if their usual behaviour is uncommon here. The licensing around the original 30 pin was equally obtuse.

I'd call it Apple's fault for using a proprietary connector in the first place.

Yes, I'd also call it the fault of patent law for allowing something so absurd intended solely to block interoperation with 3rd party devices; but Apple chose to use it.

If it makes you happier, I also condemn Intel for the abomination they call "Thunderbolt" - Though unlike iThings, at least Thunderbolt never really caught on.

Re:Dear Apple (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359059)

Not to mention this thing was already a questionably useful product. I've got a battery with a bit less than half the capacity, it cost less than half as much, and since it's much less wasteful with empty space, easily slips into a bag or pocket. This POP thing is bulky and awkward. I'm just not seeing a market for it.

Re:Dear Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359117)

This was supposedly supposed to ship to customers in december. It is now mid december, and they pull the plug.

Obviously they are no where near a shipping product, if they had been, they would have shipped anyway.

And for the iPhone 5 there are nifty little micro-USB-adapters available.

Re:Dear Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359437)

Dear Apple

Fuck you!

Yours sincerely

The sane people on the planet

Ah yes, the kickstarter project that began before the official release of the connector, that also features powered USB ports for charging "other devices with incompatible ports" and yet somehow the inability to roll in the Lightning port to a product that was begun before Apple even acknowledged it exists is "doomed".

I wonder, what's to stop iPhone 5 users from plugging in a Lightning cable into one of the powered USB ports on this device? Nothing? So why the need to cancel it?

Very odd.

$99 for a fucking USB hub? What the fuck is wrong with you? Not even Apple fans would be fooled by that garbage. Without a lightning cable built in to it, there is no point in buying one, period. End of story. If you want to buy a $99 USB hub, I will be happy to sell you one (that i snatch off of Amazon for $9.) Their high capacity battery option isn't bad but those too are very cheap (despite their claims) and I can easily get one for under $50 while they want $150 for the kickstarted version.

This is a clear cut example of Apple deciding to screw over consumers so they can be the only one to pillage their loyal base. Get over it.

Re:Dear Apple (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359361)

And that's both of us!

JUS DOIN ITS JOB !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42358827)

Apple takes another one out !!

When you do things that are bad (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358829)

... for the customer I think it will be bad for them

LOL!

http://www.forbes.com/sites/benzingainsights/2012/08/21/apple-now-most-valuable-company-in-history/ [forbes.com]

Re:When you do things that are bad (1)

mov_eax_eax (906912) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358903)

this is still true with the current stock price?

Re:When you do things that are bad (1)

zidium (2550286) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358935)

At $510, it's ~70 billion away from being supplanted by Exxon Mobile (XOM). I've seen it do those moves in a single day two times in the last month.

Re:When you do things that are bad (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358943)

That was then. This is now. Apple is already in decline. People are annoyed at the things Apple will not allow. The iPhone 5 is not quite the wait-in-line-for-weeks thing that its predecessors were. The public knows all too well why Apple took away Google maps and that Apple was proven inadequate when it came to selecting a replacement. And the public was very quick to get their old maps back and recognize this as Apple's defeat and humiliation in this. (I know, it sounds a bit too dramatic, but ask around... if you know any iPhone users, see what they have to say about it.)

MBAs now run Apple. They prefer to make "safe choices" unlike Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs, despite his huge ego and other faults, knew how to excite consumers. These MBAs don't. Safe choices don't excite people. Safe choices is why there are so many movie sequels and remakes instead of new [risky] creative works.

Apple had it for a while... they don't have it now. It's gone.

Re:When you do things that are bad (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359083)

> That was then. This is now. Apple is already in decline.

That was 4 months ago. People have started to become annoyed with Apple in the last two months? People are addicted to Apple.

> get their old maps back and recognize this as Apple's defeat and humiliation in this.
> (I know, it sounds a bit too dramatic, but

Google just brought out a map product for Apple and Apple's sales have again risen far higher than usual - people were holding off buying their products until it was fixed.

> Apple had it for a while... they don't have it now. It's gone.

I hope you're right (I'm an Android fan boy, apparently). But I think you're wrong. For now at least the numbers don't lie.

Re:When you do things that are bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359269)

That Slashdot article was wrong. Apple sales increase because they released the phone in China which occurred at almost the same time. Google maps release did nothing to increase sales for 5 days after it's release.

Obviously, a release in China would have a big effect on sales.

As for people's annoyances, I personally can't say but I do agree in the opinion that Apple is run by MBA who take less risk.

Re:When you do things that are bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359431)

The numbers indicate that apple sales are dropping. So yes, the numbers don't lie.

Re:When you do things that are bad (5, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359217)

[Link to "Apple Now Most Valuable Company in History"]

That was then. This is now. Apple is already in decline.

By what measurement?

People are annoyed at the things Apple will not allow.

People have been annoyed at the things Apple will not allow for years. This is nothing new.

The iPhone 5 is not quite the wait-in-line-for-weeks thing that its predecessors were.

Apple just had a record-breaking launch of the iPhone 5 in China last weekend. When the iPhone 5 was first launched, it sold 5 million in its first weekend. The iPhone 4S sold 4 million in its first weekend. The iPhone 4 sold 1.7 million in its first weekend.

The public knows all too well why Apple took away Google maps

Because their license was ending and Google's terms weren't acceptable to Apple?

MBAs now run Apple. They prefer to make "safe choices" unlike Steve Jobs.

Tim Cook runs Apple. He's actually been running Apple for a long time, long before Steve Jobs died. He's just implemented a major restructuring of Apple's divisions. And you've just got done complaining about the risk Apple took with Maps.

Re:When you do things that are bad (1)

DevilM (191311) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359225)

Re:When you do things that are bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359449)

"in the US". Which by itself is extremely questionable. They also aren't willing to show china, where apple's share is significantly low.

Article is obviously slanted.

Re:When you do things that are bad (1)

Antarell (930241) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359409)

That was then. This is now. Apple is already in decline. People are annoyed at the things Apple will not allow. The iPhone 5 is not quite the wait-in-line-for-weeks thing that its predecessors were.

Yes, this. When I purchased my iPhone 4 it was brilliant, and at the time Android really did suck balls. But the iPhone 4s/5 isn't that different really than the 4 so why upgrade? I did upgrade in the end to a Galaxy S3 and it stands out now like the iP4 when it came out.

Apple haven't just dropped the ball, they have lost it down a drain as well.

Re:When you do things that are bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359067)

This sort of junk has killed them before. They at first turned on their own eco system of vendors. Then told them 'go for it'. The second time they killed them it worked out *very* well for apple but that was only because of the iPod. It was very strange they had created a wonderful system of people who were quite enthusiastic to extend the apple system (on their own dime no less!). Lots of people were trying things like this guy with a simple charger. Eventually they got the hint and moved on to the Amiga and then the PC.

Notice what the 'maker' guys are messing with. It sure is not Apple or even PCs anymore. Its Adriano, raspberry, and beagle. That is where the next round of innovation will come from. Apple will eventually realize you can not polish the brass enough to make people buy their stuff. People are cheap and Apple carries a premium (justified or not). They always had decent products. Just many times there was a comparable 'me too' out there that was cheaper and worked just as well.

Also since that came out they have gone from 700 to 500. Their shipments are down on the year with no 'must have' in the pipeline. Notice who they are going after Samsung, Motorola, and HTC (they want to limit the me too effect this time and have the cash to back it up). They are looking to keep their walled garden at any cost possible. That will not last, patents do run out eventually and parts vendors like Samsung do remember you.

Apple is in it for Apple. Apple even at one point turned on Adobe (you know the ones that pretty much kept them afloat). They are a cool company but quite short term suicidal.

This again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42358833)

Haven't we been through this already with third party console controllers?

Wasnt there supposed to be some law passed... (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358841)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there going to be some sort of legislature dictating that cell phone makers use a universal charging standard by this point? Everyone else has managed micro usb, why is it so hard for apple?

Re:Wasnt there supposed to be some law passed... (1)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358883)

>Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there going to be some sort of legislature dictating that cell phone makers use a universal charging standard by this point?

You're wrong and not only you are wrong, I have to question what colour the sky is in your world.

--
BMO

Re:Wasnt there supposed to be some law passed... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42358977)

>Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there going to be some sort of legislature dictating that cell phone makers use a universal charging standard by this point?

You're wrong and not only you are wrong, I have to question what colour the sky is in your world.

And I feel I should inform you that the skies of Europe are quite similar to those of the US, just with slightly less of the corporate smog.

Re:Wasnt there supposed to be some law passed... (2, Informative)

ardiri (245358) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359045)

no law.. but - everyone except apple agree'd to a universal charger.

http://www.eubusiness.com/topics/telecoms/mobile-charger/

seems if you want to stick with apple; your screwed on this one. everyone should just boycott them :)

Re:Wasnt there supposed to be some law passed... (5, Informative)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359175)

Actually, they DID sign it, and now sell a $25 (USD) lightning-to-microUSB adapter (not included!) as their "compliance".

Re:Wasnt there supposed to be some law passed... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359295)

It's included if you buy an iPhone in Europe.

Re:Wasnt there supposed to be some law passed... (0)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358889)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there going to be some sort of legislature dictating that cell phone makers use a universal charging standard by this point? Everyone else has managed micro usb, why is it so hard for apple?

It's not hard for Apple. They have a micro-USB adapter to comply with that requirement. The law doesn't require that the device have a micro-USB connector, just that you are able to connect it to one via some means.

Re:Wasnt there supposed to be some law passed... (0)

Reschekle (2661565) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358901)

No. There is an industry standard for phone charging that Apple voluntarily agreed to - basically saying all phones will come with a standard charging port (micro-USB). But that standard is essentially pointless because you can be compliant by making an adapter available as an option.

Apple has a micro-USB-to-Lightning adapter that you can purchase, as an option, for like $30.

Re:Wasnt there supposed to be some law passed... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42358987)

All wrong.

It is not a law, it is a voluntary agreement.

The voluntary agreement that Apple signed in on states that the charger has to be universal NOT the device. Apple's chargers ARE universal in that they employ a standard USB type A plug, and they work with any USB type A charger that ships with many electronics.

Re:Wasnt there supposed to be some law passed... (5, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358959)

The EU had, and still has, a tacit agreement with equipment vendors to this end in-place, but it's not legally binding and there is no penalty for not following it. Apple signed it, along with most other mobile device equipment vendors, then reneged on their promise and released the Lightning connector anyway. Apple does not care about the environment, it does not care about standards, it does not care about FRAND licensing of its patents, and it sure as hell doesn't care about its customers. Apple cares about making as much money for its shareholders as possible. Period.

Re:Wasnt there supposed to be some law passed... (4, Funny)

pla (258480) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359107)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there going to be some sort of legislature dictating that cell phone makers use a universal charging standard by this point? Everyone else has managed micro usb, why is it so hard for apple?

Apple signed a 2009 agreement with the EU intended to reduce iWaste by having all phones, and even the majority of portable devices in general, all use the same charging standard, via a microUSB connector.

Apple "satisfied" this pledge by offering a $20 dongle (aka "yet another piece of iWaste you have to carry around and will end up in the landfill when they come out with Lightning v1.1") that converts microUSB to Lightning.

But hey, Apple users have always had more dollars than sense, so whatever. I really shouldn't even care, since I already voted by sending my dollars to Samsung - But still - C'mon Apple, biggest in the world doesn't do it for you? You that hard up for an extra $20 from people who don't want one of your damned docks?

Re:Wasnt there supposed to be some law passed... (1)

Beorytis (1014777) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359453)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there going to be some sort of legislature dictating that cell phone makers use a universal charging standard by this point? Everyone else has managed micro usb, why is it so hard for apple?

I remember hearing about a law like that being passed... IN CHINA.

Wow (1)

bbeesley (2709435) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358855)

I had presumed that Apple wanted to have tight control over the lightening connector - that is to say, they wanted to maximize their profit - but geesh!

Way to act like Veruca Salt!

Re:Wow (2, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358927)

I had presumed that Apple wanted to have tight control over the lightening connector - that is to say, they wanted to maximize their profit - but geesh!

Way to act like Veruca Salt!

In what way? Their terms for licensing the "lightening [sic] connector" are well known, and this project started before the iPhone 5 was even released. Somehow it has become a deal breaker for the project, despite the connector not being officially announced when the project began.

Now the project owner has thrown his toys out of the pram because apparently the built in USB ports on the device will simply make it totally useless and non-viable because Apple denied them a licence for a connector that didn't exist at the start of the project.

Apple didn't "kill a kickstarter project" - the originator of the kickstarter project killed a kickstarter project.

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359201)

The project also didn't know apple would be make a NEW connector for the iPhone5, so their original plan was "make an adapter that works with all current-gen devices". When Apple changed the connector, that new connector became a requirement to meet that goal, which they were unable to do.

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

asliarun (636603) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359241)

I had presumed that Apple wanted to have tight control over the lightening connector - that is to say, they wanted to maximize their profit - but geesh!

Way to act like Veruca Salt!

In what way? Their terms for licensing the "lightening [sic] connector" are well known, and this project started before the iPhone 5 was even released. Somehow it has become a deal breaker for the project, despite the connector not being officially announced when the project began.

Now the project owner has thrown his toys out of the pram because apparently the built in USB ports on the device will simply make it totally useless and non-viable because Apple denied them a licence for a connector that didn't exist at the start of the project.

Apple didn't "kill a kickstarter project" - the originator of the kickstarter project killed a kickstarter project.

How biased do have to be to post this? You keep saying over and over again that the connector was not announced when the project was announced. So what? The connector exists today. Apple denied them a license because they do want their connector to coexist with another connector because in their special universe, only apple products exist.

This level of arrogance is staggering. On top of it, you are not only supporting their arrogance but also trashing a bunch of guys that just wanted to make a simple combo connector. Dude that is pathetic. Apple is a company that makes some great products but are also filled with hubris, and I don't know why you can't let these two thoughts coexist in your head.

Re:Wow (2)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359461)

I had presumed that Apple wanted to have tight control over the lightening connector - that is to say, they wanted to maximize their profit - but geesh!

Way to act like Veruca Salt!

In what way? Their terms for licensing the "lightening [sic] connector" are well known, and this project started before the iPhone 5 was even released. Somehow it has become a deal breaker for the project, despite the connector not being officially announced when the project began.

Now the project owner has thrown his toys out of the pram because apparently the built in USB ports on the device will simply make it totally useless and non-viable because Apple denied them a licence for a connector that didn't exist at the start of the project.

Apple didn't "kill a kickstarter project" - the originator of the kickstarter project killed a kickstarter project.

How biased do have to be to post this? You keep saying over and over again that the connector was not announced when the project was announced. So what? The connector exists today. Apple denied them a license because they do want their connector to coexist with another connector because in their special universe, only apple products exist.

This level of arrogance is staggering. On top of it, you are not only supporting their arrogance but also trashing a bunch of guys that just wanted to make a simple combo connector. Dude that is pathetic. Apple is a company that makes some great products but are also filled with hubris, and I don't know why you can't let these two thoughts coexist in your head.

Right! you're getting it!

* The connector did not exist. The project began, promising support for this non-existent connector, such that denial of use of this non-existent connector is crucial for the product to succeed.

* The connector was announced.

* The project promised to add it.

* Finally, deep in development they discuss licencing with Apple, despite already promising they will include the connector.

* Apple said no.

* Project cancelled.

* Project starter calls Apple "assholes" in official quote.

Professional, guys. Really professional.

The only arrogance here is the project owners, who promised something that they could not deliver because they designed and developed something that they did not seek the licences to use until late in the game (or they simply tried to roll the Lightning connector in late in the product cycle),

Either way it is not Apple's fault that they released a new connector while this project was ongoing. Had they released it later on, would it still be Apple's fault they they changed the connector and now the product is obsolete (despite it having powered USB ports on it)?

Apple did not "kill" this project - they simply didn't licence a connector design *that did not exist when the project began*.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359441)

Now the project owner has thrown his toys out of the pram because apparently the built in USB ports on the device will simply make it totally useless and non-viable because Apple denied them a licence for a connector that didn't exist at the start of the project.

Apple didn't "kill a kickstarter project" - the originator of the kickstarter project killed a kickstarter project.

Read the actual kickstarter page referenced in the summary. He promised it would work with the iphone 5 - it was a reasonable assumption given Apple's terms for licensing the connector for the iphone 4. When he found out he could not live up to his promise - i.e. he could not fulfill his kickstarter contract he had no choice but to cancel the project and start over.

Your characterization of his decision to not unilaterally change the terms of the kickstarter contract, something that might well get him sued by the people who gave him money under the original terms, as throwing "toys out of the pram" is ridiculous. It was the only responsible choice he had.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359465)

Is that you Steve?

Re:Wow (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358931)

What's wrong about Veruca Salt, it's a nice band.

Re:Wow (1)

AmIAnAi (975049) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359161)

Thanks, now I've got 'Seether' running on endless repeat in my head ;-)

Two words: (2)

plaukas pyragely (1630517) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358865)

Walled garden. That is all.

Re:Two words: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359167)

I call it "The Outside of the Asylum".

I simply don't understand it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42358867)

I can buy all 3 of these connectors and a multi purpose USB/AC block for about 6 dollars from Amazon. It seems like a dim witted project from the get-go.

Re:I simply don't understand it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42358933)

What about the high-capacity battery? Did you figure that into your 6 dollars?

Re:I simply don't understand it... (2)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358989)

What about the high-capacity battery? Did you figure that into your 6 dollars?

http://www.amazon.com/capacity-portable-External-Motorola-Blackberry/dp/B008S4QR2U/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1356098608&sr=8-13&keywords=high+capacity+battery [amazon.com]

Add about $15 for the battery.

Fruitmentarianism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42358879)

Must follow The Leader.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_The_Simpsons#Movementarians

Again? (4, Interesting)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358887)

Apple is hell-bent to keep its customers by the balls, the customers develop feelings for the entity... Stockholm syndrome anyone?

Re:Again? (1)

iamhomeless (2794463) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358907)

Apple is a cult, customers refuse to accept the possibility that the device is less than optimal in any way, and will attack you if you utter anything bad about the great JOBS

Re:Again? (4, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359097)

Millions of people lined up and camped out in droves in order to buy a product that proves that they "think different" and that they are not consumer drones like those people with that other brand of product.

Steve Jobs could have had penguins lining up to buy ice cubes.

Re:Again? (1)

grenadeh (2734161) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358995)

Stockholm syndrome has been the case with not only apple but most consumer-electronics companies for years. Especially with the entire gaming industry and companies like capcom.

Private Company (1)

StealthPanda (1189933) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358891)

Apple isn't a private company. It is subject to its shareholders. Though I suppose it is private in the "private vs. government" sense...
They have always gone the route of killing off anything that I, personally, might find useful to purchase. Looks like they are keeping the streak alive.

I'm confused... (3, Insightful)

Geraden (15689) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358913)

Since just about everything uses USB cables these days, anyhow, why is anyone bothering with designing chargers targeted towards a specific device or family of devices? Just put a USB A receptacle on there, and call it done! Let the licensing be taken care of by those who make cables.

Oh, and one thing I'm NOT confused about is Apple's strategy....screw you, Apple. I'm sick of paying for products that you need to have an apple computer to program for... for an OS that only runs on your hardware, despite having the ability to run just about anywhere ... for products that don't have user-serviceable batteries...and for your stupid, non-compliant connectors. I bought my last apple product 5 years ago, and I haven't looked back.

Re:I'm confused... (-1)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358967)

It already *does* have USB ports on it. That's what's so hilarious about this.

The project owner basically just had a hissy fit.

Also, what non-user-servicable batteries? Other than the new iPod nano and the iPad, you can replace all of the batteries in Apple products. Sure there's no battery door, but it's as easy as popping the back off with a screwdriver and swapping out the battery. I've done it in about 10 minutes on a couple of iPhones, a MBP, etc.

apple is a public company (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42358915)

just saying

what were they thinking? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42358921)

I cannot believe they even tried.

Apple is not another cell phone company. It is the only cell phone company. Actually, they do not even make cell phones, they don't even make iPhones, they make THE iPhone, which is a completely different product aimed at a completely different market not to be confused with the ordinary communication devices made by other companies.

I call bullshit (2, Insightful)

DevilM (191311) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358923)

Here you have an article where no statement was included from Apple including the purported response this company got. Then the CEO goes on to call Apple assholes. Who knows what really happened.

I for one wouldn't license my IP to someone who calls me an asshole.

Re:I call bullshit (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358965)

Yeah because that new connector is so special it needs to be protected.

There is nothing novel in their connectors.

It's a bunch of wires and some bog standard locking mechanismas.

Re:I call bullshit (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359131)

unlike plain USB the nice thing about it is that you can plug it into your idevice any way. you don't have to line it up correctly like you do with USB. the pins are interchangable so if you need to say charge your iphone at night and its dark and you just want to plug it in the dark, you just plug it in any way the connector is facing. no need to turn it the right way like with the old one or USB

Re:I call bullshit (1)

jittles (1613415) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359235)

unlike plain USB the nice thing about it is that you can plug it into your idevice any way. you don't have to line it up correctly like you do with USB. the pins are interchangable so if you need to say charge your iphone at night and its dark and you just want to plug it in the dark, you just plug it in any way the connector is facing. no need to turn it the right way like with the old one or USB

I wouldn't give up compatibility with all my existing docks just to be able to do that. If I can't plug it in in the dark, I flip it around and plug it in the second time. No big deal at all. And don't mention an adapter to me because the plug itself is not the only way they broke compatibility. I have a dock that works with anything iPhone 4 or older, but not with anything iPhone 4S or newer. That includes the new iPod models as well.

Re:I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359169)

The only real novelties one could have in a connector are size and ability to insert it with out a notion of upside and downside...both of which Apple changed.

Re:I call bullshit (1)

djrosen (265939) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358975)

Call me whatever you want as long as you are paying me. Money heals all wounds. Sticks and stones....

Re:I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359039)

I would guess that the asshole part came after Apple said "no you cannot make stuff that works with our stuff"

I would have though something like connectors were automatically exempt from any IP/patent issues,
as in can't write apple on it or outright copy the design but you are free to make a connector that fits and works

Business is business, Taser is Taser (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359259)

"I for one wouldn't license my IP to someone who calls me an asshole."
Business is business, you don't let your personal feelings get in the way.

Apple's license for that connector means it can't be included with any other connection, not even an old Apple one. You might not believe it, but do you recall their USB connector? the one that needed a resistor, the patented one they used to prevent third party chargers working? They have lots of form here.

Bend over Apple fanboy, Jobs is dead and Tim Cook has no new ideas, so get ready to pay ever more for those power cables. They'll even Taser you if you want buy several of them! Hey, nothing gives a cable extra cach-e than Tasering customers who dare to buy 2 of them!

IMHO, their decision to drop the Apple connector, return the cash and seek funding for one that excludes Apple is the right way forward. Apple are really losing market share with each month and stuff like this just makes that faster. Good riddence to bad scum.

As if... (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358957)

...I needed yet another reason not to ever buy an Apple product. Still... Thanks, Apple, for solidifying my resolve completely.

Re:As if... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359221)

Yeah! Stick it to those corporate bastards! Down with the evil mega-corp! I'll show 'em, I'm going to buy Samsung devices instead!

lol (2)

grenadeh (2734161) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358979)

Hey look, Apple is being Apple. How shocking.

Why would they need Apple for any of this? (2, Interesting)

Kergan (780543) | about a year and a half ago | (#42358991)

I fail to see how or why this Kickstarter project could possibly need a license from Apple for any of this to work. They could build it with a bunch of USB slots and toss in a disclaimer: "cables not included." There, problem solved.

Or am I missing something obvious?

Re:Why would they need Apple for any of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359183)

Or am I missing something obvious?

Yes.

Re:Why would they need Apple for any of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359277)

I fail to see why this story isn't about patent reform.

What IP is Apple using to stop this? (4, Interesting)

argoff (142580) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359047)

Because in the USA, at least, you can't patent an interface. You can patent all sorts of other stuff, but interface patents are one of the few things you can't patent? That's why AMD and Compaq were able to waltz in and kick IBM's and Intel's ass when it came to pin-socket compatible PC's.

Fishy (3, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359085)

They took money for a product they didn't know if they could build, then when it turns out they couldn't, instead of slightly modifying the design by including a female USB port, they set customers up with accounts on their Kickstarter competitor to refund them. This looks pretty much like they changed their mind about building it if favour of pivoting their business to go into crowd funding, and decided to use Apple hate to grab users and publicity.

what (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359237)

Yes! It totally makes sense!

1. Get $140k in Kickstarter funding
2. Give it all back, and give up on plan
3. Profit!

Why didn't I think of that! Getting a bunch of money and giving it back and not going forward with a business plan totally sounds like the best way to be successful! What an ingenious plot!

Re:Fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359417)

To be fair, Apple is really easy to hate.

I Was Shut Down Too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359113)

My KS project was shut down by the Russian Gov't. All I wanted to do was duplicate an ICBM engine and put a warhead on it. But they said their warheads are patented and I couldn't have the designs.

Re:I Was Shut Down Too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359255)

I get it - you're trying to be funny.

Not real shocking... (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359185)

Yeah, in a Utopian World good deeds would be rewarded, bad folks would be remorseful while heartily accepting their punishment, and there would be a benevolent god rewarding life's protagonists with eternal life. As Alan Jackson has been known to croon, "Here In The Real World", the most important predictor of future business success in an utter lack of conscience.

Apple's handling of Lightning will hurt them (4, Interesting)

swb (14022) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359229)

Forget the Maps debacle, in my opinion it's the Lightning connector that will ultimately do more damage.

And it's not the connector's technical design -- I think it works pretty slick and is a definite improvement mechanically over the 30 pin connector and superior to MicroUSB as well.

It's the overall handling of Lightning that I think is an issue. First of all, shouldn't Lightning have been on the iPad 3 first? IMHO, the iPads are slightly less connector-centric and a release on iPad would have given accessory developers enough lead time to get products designed and through Apple's approval process in time for actual accessories and adapters to be available at iPhone 5 launch. As far as I know, there are very few Lightning accessories available right now -- some car chargers (who hasn't switched to a USB connector by now?) and maybe a Bose dock, but not much else.

The other thing is -- why is Apple being so difficult with device approvals? One thing Apple had going for it was a kind of network effect, where one of things that made iPhone/iPad appealing was a broad range of accessories available for it. By making accessory development difficult, they hurt innovation, which means less stuff, and in theory the Lightning connector should make for innovative products because of its digital nature.

IMHO this is really what will hurt Apple, not Maps, which will be good enough for most people as-is (it's always worked well for me), as well as get better over time.

Why apple? (1)

js3 (319268) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359251)

Why can't they use their technology for other phones?

Haha, yeah right. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359289)

"When you do things that are bad for the customer I think it will be bad for them.”

Oh how I wish this was true, so many companies (apple included) wouldn't be in business anymore if this was the case.

Ministry of Silly Walks (1)

epine (68316) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359317)

People like to go around chanting "We're #1!"

Soon the winner-takes-all market dynamics turns #1 into an 800lb gorilla, which does what gorillas do, until their once-proud fan base begins to feel the grip tighten to eye-popping intensity, whereupon the parade degenerates into a comic spectacle from the Ministry of Silly Walks.

The parade veterans dress in uncool loose shorts forever after, and express a lot less enthusiasm about chanting "We're #1!" but every generation has to learn for itself, so the cycle repeats.

I've come to realize that loyalty is a tricky business. If one puts any stock in the maxim that absolute power corrupts absolutely, it's hard not to view loyalty as sowing the seeds of destruction. I'm pretty happy in most markets if I can align myself with a viable #2, and almost ecstatic if I can align myself with a viable #3 (with any hope of midterm survival). In the early days of ATI/Nvidia I tended to buy Matrox. Matrox had fewer frames, but sharper pixels. Of course, that couldn't last.

I used to support AMD for the same reason. But now we have AMD Opteron 3200 Series [slashcode mdash fuckup] Where did they go? [servethehome.com] . You can't even read an AMD press release with any confidence the product exists. There are limits to rooting for the underdog. I continue to prefer OpenCL even through CUDA probably has an edge in stability. Whatever happens to AMD, I hope OpenCL doesn't end up owned by Oracle.

Chrome is now better than FF for many tasks. But I continue to use FF because the day FF dies off, Chrome will immediately begin to suck donkey balls where it suits Google. Google+ will be bundled into the browser experience in much the same way the IE was bundled into Windows. No, your honour, we can't remove Google+. It's a design pillar.

Samsung so far seems to have relative immunity to whatever got into the Sony water supply. Phones will remain a contested space for a while yet. The Koreans as a culture seem less attracted to DRM and more attracted to price fixing.

We'd all be a lot better off with less bandwagon effect. When I imagine the movie made about Jobs in the style of Gandhi, my version would probably begin with the line "As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be the band leader."

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