In a recently released statement, Apple noted that it has slightly changed the terms of its “Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod” specifications to allow third-party manufacturers to build accessories that use the Lightning connector in conjunction with legacy 30-pin adapters. This feature was previously prohibited in the company’s original stipulations. The news comes just shortly after media outlets publicized the death of POP (Portable Power), a Kickstarter project for an all-in-one iDevice charger that was effectively killed by Apple’s previous licensing rules. Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr had the following to say about the situation:
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.
POP creator James Siminoff told ArsTechnica that his company was already part of the MFi program before the launch of the iPhone 5, and consequently the format that was implemented for Lightning was not expected to alter Apple’s previous licensing stipulations. With the new guidelines in place, POP wasn’t able to acquire the necessary license which forced the cancelation of the project, even though they had funding from 1,000 backers that totaled to a sum of $139,170. The whole ordeal caused Siminoff to call off POP and issue refunds to all customers. He said the following about the topic:
If it has to be an Apple-only product, and Lightning can't be next to, say, an Android charger, then it's still not something we want to make. I hope they become customer friendly. Maybe we will be able to do [the POP charger] after all.