Apple Changes Guidelines and Allows POP Charging Station to Live On, But Something’s Off

Yesterday, we reported that a Kickstarter project called POP, a wireless charging station that could support all mobile devices, got effectively shut down after Apple refused to allow the developer to implement both a Lightning connector and a 30-pin iPod connector in the same device. The developer, Jamie Siminoff, lamented the turn of events in a blog post and pledged to refund his backers.

However, Apple has sent word out that it has (had?) changed its policy to allow the connectors to be placed side-by-side. Thus, the POP charger can live on, which should be good news for Siminoff and all his backers.

Here’s the text of Apple’s statement:

Our technical specifications provide clear guidelines for developing accessories and they are available to MFi [Made for iPod program] 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.

Apple says it couldn’t approve POP’s Lightning connector because of a technical issue (which is now apparently resolved). Although the issue did unfortunately affect Siminoff’s plans for POP, it’s a problem that he knew about before he submitted his application, yet he made it seem like Apple was just flexing its powerful muscles by casually flicking away a gnat for sport. Then Siminoff made a big show of giving back all his Kickstarter funds, which we found commendable, but he noted that the refunds would have to be processed by a Kickstarter competitor: his own crowdfunding site, Christie Street.

POP wireless charger
POP wireless charger

And of course, now those of us covering this story have mentioned his Christie Street crowdfunding website. Twice.

Further, although Siminoff told The Verge that he would “1,000%” proceed with the POP if indeed Apple has changed its guidelines, he told Ars Technica that “Maybe we will be able to do [the POP charger] after all.”

We hate to be cynical, and perhaps we can chalk his conflicting statements up to his thoughts evolving over the course of a whirlwind day, but we can’t help but think that someone is playing the news like a fiddle here. (And for what it’s worth, we more than likely would have covered the launch of Christie Street had we been made aware through normal channels.)

And for what it’s worth, we don’t believe that Apple suddenly changed its guidelines based on PR pressure; that’s not really the Cupertino Crew’s style.

Anyway, if you’re interested in the POP charger, it looks like the thing will live on.