updated 07:59 pm EST, Fri December 21, 2012
Revision of rules allows Lightning and 30-pin dock cables in same device
Apple today formally updated its specifications on the Lightning manufacturing licensing agreement that allegedly torpedoed a Kickstarter project. The company said it is now allowing the Lightning adapter found on the iPhone 5, iPad (fourth generation), and iPad mini to be used in conjunction with the older 30-pin dock cable on the same accessory.
Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said, regarding the policy shift, that "our technical specifications provide clear guidelines for developing accessories and they are available to [Made For i] 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."
Following the news, the controversial POP charging station that was reportedly cancelled because of the Apple licensing restrictions has been resurrected. Following Apple's refusal to allow both Lightning and the deprecated 30-pin dock cable on the same device, creator Jamie Siminoff announced his intention to cancel the product, and refund all funds generated by the device's Kickstarter through his own crowd-sourced project website, Christie Street.
The unconventional refund path prompted significant public comment, questioningg Siminoff's motives and suggesting that the device be built anyhow, using USB cabling and adapters to convert standard ports to Lightning. Siminoff initially said that "there are lots of batteries and chargers out there that you can plug USB cables into, and I don't want to be another one of those. We're trying to create something that's a charging station that charges multiple devices, that is clean, that has retractable cord reels ... so the fact that people were just saying 'bring a Lightning adapter to it so I can plug it in,' sort of junks that up. It wasn't the vision."
In light of Apple's reversal of policy, Siminoff has more recently told CNet that he now plans on building and shipping the device with Lightning and 30-pin connectors, and will be commencing sales shortly.