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Apple Kills a Kickstarter Project - Updated 471

Posted by Soulskill
from the there-is-but-one-way dept.
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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Apple Kills a Kickstarter Project - Updated

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  • Dear Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @08:46AM (#42358817)

    Dear Apple

    Fuck you!

    Yours sincerely

    The sane people on the planet

    • Re:Dear Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jo_ham (604554) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .999mahoj.> on Friday December 21, 2012 @08:50AM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Zocalo (252965)
        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 ve
        • Re:Dear Apple (Score:5, Informative)

          by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Friday December 21, 2012 @09:03AM (#42358973) Homepage

          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: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jo_ham (604554)

            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 (Score:5, Insightful)

              by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Friday December 21, 2012 @09:59AM (#42359553) Homepage

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

              Presumably they felt their actual offering was "whatever the contemporary connector Apple uses is", given that a device which can only be connected to obsolete devices is .... obsolete.

              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.

              Erm, yes, how silly of them to not anticipate that Apple would require licensing for a goddamn power plug. Since when have you had to sign exclusivity agreements to connect a battery to another battery? Can you name any other manufacturer that uses custom authentication chips to prevent people making charging cables? Maybe at the time the Kickstarter project proposal was made, they figured Apple might actually pull its head out of its arse and use the same connector the rest of the world was already standardizing on. Then when the reality turned out to be far worse than they had imagined they realized they'd effectively take peoples money to build a device that wouldn't charge most of their customers iPhones. I think they did exactly the right thing in the circumstance.

              • Re:Dear Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @10:02AM (#42359571)

                Erm, yes, how silly of them to not anticipate that Apple would require licensing for a goddamn power plug

                It's not even that; they clearly tried to work within the licensing restrictions they knew would be in place, but Apple's response was completely unreasonable and it forced them to scrap the inclusion of the connector even though they probably had at least $10-$15 worth of margin built in to each unit to account for that.

                If Apple can't be wooed to sell the details of EIGHT FUCKING COPPER TRACES for $10 a unit, then yes, FUCK APPLE.

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by Theaetetus (590071)

                  Erm, yes, how silly of them to not anticipate that Apple would require licensing for a goddamn power plug

                  It's not even that; they clearly tried to work within the licensing restrictions they knew would be in place, but Apple's response was completely unreasonable and it forced them to scrap the inclusion of the connector even though they probably had at least $10-$15 worth of margin built in to each unit to account for that.

                  If Apple can't be wooed to sell the details of EIGHT FUCKING COPPER TRACES for $10 a unit, then yes, FUCK APPLE.

                  It's not just eight fucking copper traces, but a chip that automatically detects orientation of the plug and reroutes signals between said traces so that pin 8 always acts like pin 8, even if you flip the plug and it's actually pin 1.

              • Re:Dear Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

                by necro81 (917438) on Friday December 21, 2012 @10:46AM (#42360049) Journal

                Since when have you had to sign exclusivity agreements to connect a battery to another battery?

                Whether you are aware or not, you have to pay a license fee to incorporate USB into any device, too. I'm not defending Apple, nor making any judgment about this project. But, yes, licenses need to be obtained, and it is well known that Apple retains a choke hold on their connectors and licenses them only quite sparingly. Arbitrary? Yes. Capricious? Yes. Ought to be loosened and made less exclusive? Definitely. But it's also well known and should have been anticipated.

            • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

              They sold it as being compatible with current Apple products, on the understanding that it would be when released. This sort of thing has happened before when Apple decided to add some resistors to the standard USB charger so that 3rd party ones wouldn't work, so naturally they wanted to assure backers that the same thing wouldn't happen again.

              Well, it did happen again, but this time Apple put in place some stronger protections. Only official Apple chargers can fast charge Apple devices now.

          • Re:Dear Apple (Score:4, Interesting)

            by ackthpt (218170) on Friday December 21, 2012 @09:09AM (#42359027) Homepage Journal

            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!"

            • by crazyjj (2598719) *

              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.

              • 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.
                • 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.
                  • by butlerm (3112) on Friday December 21, 2012 @10:39AM (#42359953)

                    More detail: It should not be possible to get a patent on anything. Granting monopolies on ideas is economically counterproductive, morally suspect, and intellectually perverse.

                    • by fnj (64210)

                      Morally and ethically and by natural law, patents are EVIL. Just say it. They are nothing more than a corporatocracy/corruptocracy TOOL.

                    • by butlerm (3112) on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:30PM (#42362751)

                      Ditto. That is the PR of the patent industry, which lives and breathes by placing impediments to the progress of science and the useful arts, but there isn't the slightest evidence that the social benefits out weigh the social costs, to say nothing of the of the rent seeking, soul sucking patent attorneys who profit from this perverse deprivation of moral and intellectual rights.

                      There is no shortage of literature in defense of that position. The patent system, as presently constituted, is a first class train wreck. Virtually every informed observer who is not on the payroll of the patent bar, and who lacks a vested interest in some trivial non-invention, understands that fact.

              • At the time they made the project proposal the Lightning connector did not exist. The whole concept of licensing it therefore also did not exist. So that can't have been the reason nobody was making them.
            • Re:Dear Apple (Score:4, Informative)

              by Lumpy (12016) on Friday December 21, 2012 @10:06AM (#42359609) Homepage

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

              Why? just buy belkin cables and include them in your box. No need to "license" anything. It's an end run I have seen on a lot of devices.

        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          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: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by jo_ham (604554)

            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 (Score:4, Insightful)

              by somersault (912633) on Friday December 21, 2012 @09:28AM (#42359197) Homepage Journal

              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: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by CastrTroy (595695)
                Here's one [dx.com] that costs $9.70. The Batteries [dx.com] cost $7.31. For a total price of $17.01. If you want more power (personally, I think the first one has more than enough, it can recharge my phone at least twice over) you can get this one [dx.com] for $10.40 which uses 4 of the same batteries I linked to. Total price with batteries for that unit would be $25.02
                • The Kickstarted project had a 26000 mAH battery, could output 2.1amps on each of four cables (enough to charge four iPads simultaneously at full speed), and was going to have built in, retractable cables supporting micro USB, 30 pin dock and Lightning connections.

                  The product you linked to takes two AA batteries. You suggest a battery with a MODEL NUMBER of 18650, but a mAH rating of 2400 mAH, for a total of 4800. 9600 if they bought the four battery model you suggest. It has *ONE* USB port, no built in ca
            • 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 (Score:4, Insightful)

              by AmiMoJo (196126) * <{ten.3dlrow} {ta} {ojom}> on Friday December 21, 2012 @10:13AM (#42359683) Homepage

              Ever tried to charge an iPad 3 with one of those $20 devices? It takes a long time because only official Apple chargers are allowed to provide 2A. A standard USB charger can't even prevent the battery level from falling when the device is in use, let alone boost it.

          • by Zocalo (252965)
            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
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Dupple (1016592)

          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

        • by jeffmeden (135043)

          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 ha

      • Re:Dear Apple (Score:4, Insightful)

        by pla (258480) on Friday December 21, 2012 @09:10AM (#42359043) Journal
        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.
        • by jo_ham (604554)

          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 i

          • Re:Dear Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

            by pla (258480) on Friday December 21, 2012 @09:39AM (#42359341) Journal
            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 (Score:5, Insightful)

              by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:50PM (#42362275)

              The lightning connector is better than a "standard" USB connector in many ways. It's easier to plug in because you don't have to worry about which way to plug it in. It carries more power so it will charge faster. It is smaller, so it will fit on smaller devices. Saying that everyone should use the "standard" is basically saying that what we have now is good enough for all time and should never improve. But I don't think we're there yet.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by sdsucks (1161899)

              Thunderbolt never caught on?

              I use ThunderBolt on a daily basis, and have since the first Macbook Pro supported it. Honestly, it kicks ass. Let me know when you've got another interface as fast AND convenient as TB.

              Just like Firewire it may never be as mainstream as USB, but, again, just like firewire was much faster than USB2, TB is much faster than USB3 - and there is a market for that. (And if you actually think USB2 was even close to as fast as FW400 or FW800, or that USB3 is as fast as TB, don't both

          • I'm not seeing how this is Apple's fault ...... 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.

            That's the kind of statement that might make sense if Apple and its connector was some kind of inherently unpredictable thing, like a hurricane or an earthquake or the results of cutting edge research. But it's not. It's an electronics company. They deliberately chose to make Lightning propriet

      • by Guspaz (556486)

        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.

    • by morgauxo (974071)

      And that's both of us!

  • 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?

    • by bmo (77928)

      >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

    • by Zocalo (252965) on Friday December 21, 2012 @09:01AM (#42358959) Homepage
      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: (Score:2, Informative)

        by medcalf (68293)

        Apple cares about making as much money for its shareholders as possible. Period.

        That is the purpose — the only purpose — of a business.

        Apple signed it, along with most other mobile device equipment vendors, then reneged on their promise and released the Lightning connector anyway.

        Wrong. The agreement does not require that the micro-USB be integrated to the device. An adapter (which Apple provides) is sufficient.

        Apple does not care about the environment,

        Wrong. Apple is a leader in making electron

        • by Bradmont (513167) on Friday December 21, 2012 @10:40AM (#42359967)

          Apple cares about making as much money for its shareholders as possible. Period.

          That is the purpose — the only purpose — of a business.

          I seriously never understood this line of reasoning. Because they have a responsibility to their shareholders, corporations are somehow exempt from all moral and ethical responsibility in every other way? That's like saying, "A car's sole purpose is to drive. So it doesn't have to slow down for pedestrians in crosswalks."

    • by pla (258480) on Friday December 21, 2012 @09:18AM (#42359107) Journal
      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?
    • by Beorytis (1014777)

      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.

  • Walled garden. That is all.
  • Again? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gagol (583737) on Friday December 21, 2012 @08:53AM (#42358887)
    Apple is hell-bent to keep its customers by the balls, the customers develop feelings for the entity... Stockholm syndrome anyone?
  • I'm confused... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Geraden (15689) on Friday December 21, 2012 @08:56AM (#42358913) Homepage

    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.

    • by Myopic (18616) *

      Yes! High five, brother. I also gave up on Apple five years ago. It was a sad day because Macs are all I'd ever owned ever since my first LC III in middle school. I'm still coasting on my MacBook Pro, but I gave up on iPods (Android now), gave up on iPads (I have a Transformer), and gave up on desktop Macs (bought a Linux PC).

      What pushed me over the edge? Apple intentionally crippled their iPods to require $49.99 Apple-branded video cables whereas the previous generation of iPod accepted video cords that co

  • I call bullshit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DevilM (191311) <devilm.devilm@com> on Friday December 21, 2012 @08:57AM (#42358923) Homepage

    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.

    • 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.

      • by alen (225700)

        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

        • by jittles (1613415)

          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.

  • ...I needed yet another reason not to ever buy an Apple product. Still... Thanks, Apple, for solidifying my resolve completely.
  • by grenadeh (2734161)
    Hey look, Apple is being Apple. How shocking.
  • by Kergan (780543) on Friday December 21, 2012 @09:05AM (#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?

  • by argoff (142580) * on Friday December 21, 2012 @09:11AM (#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 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bogtha (906264) on Friday December 21, 2012 @09:14AM (#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.

  • 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.
  • by swb (14022) on Friday December 21, 2012 @09:31AM (#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 can't they use their technology for other phones?

  • "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.

  • 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 r

  • My partner and I came up with a device that allows you to open a garage door with a smartphone. Just a box with a relay and a Bluetooth radio. When I started looking into whether or not we could do this for iPhone I found apples "Made for iPod" program...their hardware licensing scheme.

    The first thing they asked for was our attorney's contact information.

    A quick search showed me that it was going to cost in the ballpark of $20,000 to deal with Apple's bullshit. So that didn't happen.

Put your Nose to the Grindstone! -- Amalgamated Plastic Surgeons and Toolmakers, Ltd.

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