Yesterday we reported on the POP charging station, an iPhone Kickstarter project run by Jamie Siminoff that had announced it would not be going through with production because Apple's guidelines wouldn't allow it — but now Apple has responded, and that doesn't quite seem to be the case. Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr told us that the an earlier version of its iOS accessory guidelines had indeed prevented the use of both 30-pin and Lightning connectors on the same device — a selling point of the charging station — due to "technical issues," but that those problems had been solved and the guidelines since changed. Essentially, there appears to be nothing stopping Siminoff from delivering the POP charing station as was originally promised to backers — at least, nothing that Apple is doing.
Siminoff is instead forcing backers to process any refunds through his own Kickstarter alternative Christie Street. We've reached out to to see if he was aware of Apple's updated guidelines, and if his company Edison Junior will be providing the original POP product as promised. Apple's full statement is reproduced below.
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.
Update: We spoke again with Edison Baby's Jamie Siminoff, who said that he was feeling "much better" after hearing the news about the changes. Should the current guidelines allow the POP to be built as originally pitched, he said, then "1,000 percent we will make it." Siminoff and his team will be talking to the factory they were planning to use to manufacture the product, and will make a formal announcement in around 10 days.
He did exercise some caution, telling us that "What we're hearing right now is Apple PR and not the MFi group." (MFi is the licensing program that controls accessories made for Apple's iOS devices.). However, he applauded the public response over the past week, saying "I think because of everyone's pressure we might get something that definitely couldn't have happened before." Apple confirmed to us that the changes to its guidelines that will allow the simultaneous use of 30-pin and Lightning connectors go into effect as of today.