Apple's Blocks Popular Kickstarter Project [Updated]

from the unfortunate dept

Update: And... after a bunch of negative publicity, Apple has reversed course and lifted the ban. Original article below...

A bunch of folks have been submitting this story about Apple refusing to allow a company, Edison Junior, to offer its Lightning connector as part of its POP portable power station, which had run a very successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year.
Edison Junior is returning everyone's money -- even covering credit card fees and Kickstarter's fees (though it's asking Kickstarter to give that back as well), but is reasonably angry. According to VentureBeat:
“We are pissed,” Edison Junior CEO Jamie Siminoff told me on the phone today. “I think they are being a bunch of assholes, and I think they’re hurting their customers.”
Understandable. The company plans to still build versions of the device that focus on the Android market, and which might possibly work with Apple products if people use adapters, but it's certainly not ideal.

The whole thing, of course, is silly, but representative of the unfortunate world we live in today where companies lock up their products. In the past, building alternate versions or compatible accessories, and reverse engineering parts, was generally considered part of how an ecosystem was built up around your market. But Apple's infatuation with over-controlling its market only serves to piss off Apple customers who want a solution like this. Unfortunately, due to the nature of using security chips and claiming patents on everything, rather than just being a simple reverse engineering challenge, Apple is effectively able to use patent and copyright laws to block any such innovation.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 3:13pm

    Apple changed mind perhaps?

     

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    •  
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      The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 5:26pm

      Re: Apple changed mind perhaps?

      They're still screwed tho, because Apple will allow ONLY to use 30 pin charger, not USB. So as long as they drop that feature, use the 30 pin, and ONLY the 30 pin, alongside their Lightning, only then they would be allowed to make their product.

       

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    Chris Maresca, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 3:18pm

    Stupid reason, cheap PR stunt for Kickstarter rival

    They could have just put a bunch of USB ports under the thing and let people bring their own cables. It would have made it future proof as well.

    My guess is that there is more this story than Apple refusing the use of the 30-pin. Like, for example, that Siminoff has started is Kickstarter rival that has as a competitive differentiator Kickstarter, what else, offering refunds on failed projects....

     

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      Christopher Maresca, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 3:23pm

      Re: Stupid reason, cheap PR stunt for Kickstarter rival

      [Sorry for the poor grammar - written quickly on tablet]

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 3:25pm

        Re: Re: Stupid reason, cheap PR stunt for Kickstarter rival

        I'm still trying to parse what you were trying to say.

         

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          Chris Maresca, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 3:34pm

          Re: Re: Re: Stupid reason, cheap PR stunt for Kickstarter rival

          Siminoff (the guy behind POP) started a Kickstarter rival who's main difference is the ability to offer refunds.

          Hence the whole "Apple blocked my Kickstarter project and I can't issue refunds" PR stunt.

           

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            Killercool (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 4:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Stupid reason, cheap PR stunt for Kickstarter rival

            Oh yeah, that makes sense.

            Except he IS issuing refunds, including refunds for credit card and Kickstarter fees.

            So. Yeah.

             

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              pixelpusher220 (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 4:28pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Stupid reason, cheap PR stunt for Kickstarter rival

              he's issuing new accounts on his competing service and then issuing refunds from there.

              So there's more than a little self interest in his 'method' of doing refunds.

               

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 3:25pm

    And we all know how POORLY Apple is doing with PROPRIETARY!

    Geez, Mike, Apple totally PROVES you're mistaken on how adversarial customer service, HIGH prices, patents, and proprietary hardware are all bad for a corporation. Maybe capitalism doesn't work the way you were taught. -- That Ivy League school was a rip-off too!

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 3:28pm

      Re: And we all know how POORLY Apple is doing with PROPRIETARY!

      I hope this is a joke

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Chris Maresca, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 3:35pm

      Re: And we all know how POORLY Apple is doing with PROPRIETARY!

      5, 12, 65, 72, 4, 35,19

       

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      •  
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        Wally (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 3:57pm

        Re: Re: And we all know how POORLY Apple is doing with PROPRIETARY!

        ...and yet there are USB adapters for each of those wires...that have the doching end on one side and the standard USB on the others. You're just as bad as Blue, if not worse, for pointing out the pinouts on iDevices on only one end....in such an uninformed manor.

         

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        •  
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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 3:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: And we all know how POORLY Apple is doing with PROPRIETARY!

          Wally,

          Apples connector sucks, you only ever use around 4 pins of a 30 pin connector. That is true efficiency!

           

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    •  
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      Digitari, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 4:04pm

      Re: And we all know how POORLY Apple is doing with PROPRIETARY!

      OOTB is a fucking freetard and ADMITS it

      http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111208/12500917012/riaa-doesnt-apologize-year-long-blog-cen sorship-just-stands-its-claim-that-site-broke-law.shtml

       

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    •  
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      Mason Wheeler (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 4:10pm

      Re: And we all know how POORLY Apple is doing with PROPRIETARY!

      No, with the way iOS has been hemorrhaging market share for the last 3 years, ever since Android became halfway decent, I'd say Apple's been proving every last one of his points.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:11pm

      Re: And we all know how POORLY Apple is doing with PROPRIETARY!

      Hey Blue! How's that Apple stock trending?

      Hope you weren't waiting for $900 to sell...

       

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      •  
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        Wally (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 11:02pm

        Re: Re: And we all know how POORLY Apple is doing with PROPRIETARY!

        He was only stating that they had changed their minds...what does that have to do with owning Apple stock??? I mean really if your going to troll and fail that miserably.

        I should note that I pity you if you are one of those "completely and utterly against Apple regardless of what it does" people. You're type is more rabid than any fanboy out their than both the Android and Apple fanboy crowds.

         

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          PaulT (profile), Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 1:23am

          Re: Re: Re: And we all know how POORLY Apple is doing with PROPRIETARY!

          Wally, you've been here long enough now to know that he's just taking the piss out of OOTB and his lunatic ravings. That Apple was mentioned might be a trigger for your white knight routine, but it's got sod all to do with the AC comment. Lay off the personal attacks until they're justified, OK?

           

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            Wally (profile), Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 12:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: And we all know how POORLY Apple is doing with PROPRIETARY!

            The AC's comment accused OOTB of being a fanboy for saying that Apple approves the device in an attack against Mike Mansick:

            "Hey Blue! How's that Apple stock trending?

            Hope you weren't waiting for $900 to sell..."

            As you can see when you look at OOTB's comment, he states that Apple changed their minds. The AC had no reason to say what he said and went after Blue assuming he was a fanboy.

            When you look outside of the attack, OOTB was correct in stating that in fact, Apple did change their minds, but he was just as stupid for attacking Mike as he did.

            For the record, Apple's customer service has been on top of the Consumer Reports list for 6 years running. I am not a fanboy for saying that. I subscribe to Consumer Reports...

            As for the AC, Blue was being Blue. I thought that the snap back at blue was extremely week and uncalled for. Which is why I attacked the AC.

            I get gaffe all the time from AC's like that who accuse me of being an Apple fanboy. it so happens that other users and AC's have called them out on it. The AC's I'm talking about bawk at the very mention of Apple when someone mildly supports them or condones something they have done right.

             

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 3:33pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And we all know how POORLY Apple is doing with PROPRIETARY!

              "I am not a fanboy"
              Denial. Pure and sweet.

              Oh and I am not the same AC that posted the original piss take on your beloved OOTB, just in case you get confused that more than one person can be and AC (again!).

               

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              PaulT (profile), Dec 23rd, 2012 @ 3:22am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And we all know how POORLY Apple is doing with PROPRIETARY!

              "The AC had no reason to say what he said and went after Blue assuming he was a fanboy."

              No, he made a sarcastic comment against a known troll, hoping to bait a response.

              "I am not a fanboy for saying that."

              No, but you do display fanboy tendencies when you write paragraphs of text defending Apple, even in articles that have nothing to do with them. Citing consumer report lists in response to something that has sod all to do with their customer services, etc., might also be a clue. Whatever overall consumer satisfaction they have, they aren't perfect and do a lot of crap that's not only damaging to their own customers, but the industry at large. Some people like them despite that, but some criticisms are valid.

              For the record, I own 4 Apple devices and am mostly happy with them (though don't ask me about the atrocious podcasts app on iOS6 if you want to hear kind words). I prefer their products to some degree, especially with regard to certain hardware builds, but they deserve some of the flack they get.

              "The AC's I'm talking about bawk at the very mention of Apple when someone mildly supports them or condones something they have done right."

              Then if you feel the need to defend against such criticism, at least wait until it happens. Diving in to defend any slight against Apple, no matter how clearly tongue-in-cheek or even based on fact, is the sort of thing that earns you the "fanboy" tag.

               

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  •  
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    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 4:34pm

    Here we go again.

    I have to say something, because it's bugging me. While I can appreciate the new wave of "app mentality", when are developers going to learn they're slicing their own throats?

    With Windows pushing developers toward Metro app development, and Apple's history of pulling apps, then replacing them with their own, when will developers stand up and say "Enough is enough!"

    With the success of a few apps generating some coin, this is a new gold rush that has only one future road to take: giving back control to monopolies, to which developers spent years using open source to get away from.

    This may seem like a tinfoil hat argument, but I've seen it before. Back when desktop apps no longer had their monopoly control once the new era of developers migrated to internet websites. What Microsoft charged, Google provided for free.

    This article, even updated, just covers up the bigger issue of losing control, and it's a shame to read.

    "Welcome to Walmart!" I best get used to saying this in my new career, because as a web developer, I'm watching apps put my future at risk and I have no desire to return to a world I already knew wasn't profitable once everyone else started making desktop apps.

    I give it just five years when companies start announcing the closing of their websites in favor for their apps.

    All for control.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 4:46pm

    Apple's wealth and power henge almost entirely on legions of die-hard supporters of the Apple brand. In other words, their reputation is their lifeline.

    Even if Apple had every right to act as they did, they should have found another way. The majority of Apple fans will almost certainly hear "Apple blocks popular Kickstarter project", and Apple's reputation will be tarnished.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 5:44pm

      Re:

      But even if the iSheeple here that, they won't care

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 24th, 2012 @ 2:45am

      Re:

      Apple's wealth and power henge almost entirely on legions of die-hard supporters of the Apple brand

      so Apple could have been selling warm dog shit in Gladwrap ! and they would be as big as they are now! no it has nothing to do with the products and services they provide, it's just because there is a pic of an Apple on the side.. problem solved.

      So why would they bother with patents, and trying to develop new products and technologies ? when all they have to do is print "apple" on the side and legions of die-hard supported will buy whatever it is !!!

      *your and idiot*

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 10:04pm

    Apple's flagship product, the Mac, is founded on a locked technology. Why would you expect them to change now?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 10:53pm

    I am proud to say that I do not, have never, and will never own an Apple product.

     

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      PaulT (profile), Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 1:30am

      Re:

      I always wonder what it is about Apple that brings out the anti-fanboys like this. I've never owned a Blackberry, and I really don't like them to use, but I don't feel a compulsion to go into every RIM or Blackberry thread and announce my dislike for them to the world. I just ignore them and buy the products I do like. I wonder why the Apple haters are so compelled to do that.

       

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        Wally (profile), Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 1:11pm

        Re: Re:

        You and I are in the same boat on this PaulT. I mean they scoff at any constructive criticism about Android. They automatically assume a person is a fanboy for preferring to use an iDevice over and Android...even if the iDevice suits the person's needs or disabilities better than Android could.

        Oh and God forbid you criticize any flaws an Android device has. You get yelled at in derp about how Apple holds a monopoly, or that you own stock in Apple, or my personal favorite...how much Apple sucks because "they just do".

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2012 @ 11:34am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Oh and God forbid you criticize any flaws an Android device has."

          There's nothing wrong with criticizing Android, if you do so in a manner consistent with the facts. As has been evident early since you first showed up on this site though, you know nothing about Android. The comment left on the "Live by the patent" (the last two comments actually) show that you don't even know anything about your alleged Android phone. It's kind of hard to believe anything you say negatively about Android when you can't even tell the truth about a phone you (supposedly) personally own.

          And it's not the first time you've been called out for saying things that weren't even remotely true, and definitely not just against Android.

          Also, technically you aren't in the same boat as PaulT. Anyone who can read can see the moment someone says something not 100% supporting Apple you'll chime in and label them as trolls or say that they are personally attacking and trolling you.

           

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 7:50am

      Re:

      I, on the other hand, can't stop winning the bastarding things.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 1:35am

    but people dont go flocking to buy the Apple option, they just cant buy what they want

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 2:48am

    why apple?

    He should have been focusing on the Android devices to begin with. All of my android devices are apple-connector-free USB.

     

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    Jikap (profile), Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 5:19am

    Huh?

    Wait... so it wasn't blocked because of its rounded corners?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 6:39am

    Next year Apple will come out with the same product. Just like Microsoft they got big by stealing from the little guy who couldn't defend themselves legally. Apple SUCKS! Microsoft SUCKS just a little less. Go Android! Screw these controlling freaks. Put them out of business, don't buy their crap. Android powers better quality equipment anyway.

     

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      Sonja (profile), Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 9:34am

      Re:

      "Next year Apple will come out with the same product. Just like Microsoft they got big by stealing from the little guy who couldn't defend themselves legally. Apple SUCKS! Microsoft SUCKS just a little less. Go Android! Screw these controlling freaks. Put them out of business, don't buy their crap. Android powers better quality equipment anyway."

      yea, until Google changes the Android terms. Never say never. I have been in this industry long enough to see free things go paid or become restrictive. So I choose to be happy with whats available now but knows it will not last forever. Then I just move on to the next flavor of the month.

       

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        Wally (profile), Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 1:14pm

        Re: Re:

        It should be noted that only time Android OS is "free and open" is when Google stops supporting older versions...The only open thing in newer supported versions of Android pertain to App development.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2012 @ 11:37am

          Re: Re: Re:

          " It should be noted that only time Android OS is "free and open" is when Google stops supporting older versions...The only open thing in newer supported versions of Android pertain to App development."

          Oh hey, look at that. A comment showing just how misinformed you are. Android, the operating system, IS open source. Anyone can take the source code and build their own custom version from it. The only thing NOT "free and open" are Google Apps, which are proprietary.

          But the moment a new version of Android is released and the source code pushed to the repositories, anyone is free to tinker with it. (Thus the reason there are a plethora of custom ROMs for devices that have never officially been updated by the manufacturers/carriers, all of which are running the latest version of Jelly Bean 4.2.1, a version it should be noted is only "officially" available on 3 devices.)

          But yeah, Wally, Android is totally not "free and open". You're fucking clueless and insanely misinformed shot at Android shows how biased you are. Someone said something you didn't like about Apple, so you take to it's defense and then take a (horrible and wrong) shot at Android in the process.

          You're totally not an Apple fanboi. /s

           

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    Tobias Harms (profile), Dec 23rd, 2012 @ 11:00am

    Never mind the connector but isn't it insane to use this device? It really doesn't feel like a good idea to leave your device lying around in direct sunlight...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 24th, 2012 @ 2:48am

    yes, it's not like Apple has been a player, that supports and cares about 3rd parties, or OEM's.

    they have been closed, and you wonder why they object to a 3rd party producing products for their "closed shop".

    We all know that is how apple operate, we know they are a closed shop and closed design, so why on earth would they suddenly change the way they operate and become any more open than they have been.

    They do ok, with their present business model, they don't need to change it..

     

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