back to article Kickstarted mobe charger 'kicked to death by Apple'

Apple has apparently screwed a bullet into a project to build a charger for iPads, iPhones, Android mobes and other handheld gadgets. The device includes Apple's new Lightning power and high-speed data connector but, we're told, the Cupertino giant refused to grant a licence for its use because the charger can also top up …

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  1. Danny 14 Silver badge

    err

    so you have a USB port and advise people to plug a USB-> lightning connector into it. Job done!

    1. Chris007
      FAIL

      Re: err

      think the point is that you don't need to carry around a USB-Lightning connector around with you all the time...

      1. jai

        Re: err

        Instead you have to lug around the, frankly, MASSIVE POP Portable power supply instead? Have you seen the pictures? it looks nearly bigger than an iPad!

        This thing is bigger than a usb power plug and three or even four usb to usb/usbMini/iPhone30pin/lightening leads.

        The only thing shocking about this story is that enough people thought it was a good idea for it to succeed it's Kickstarter stage.

        1. Babbit55

          Re: err

          I think it is more aimed at fancy coffee bars so people can charge there ithingies and other devices while sipping a tax dodging Mochafrapalattechino. The idea is good for this though sadly Apply want to keep all and any profits from anything they make to themselves really, how long till they refuse the licencing of the Lightning connector to docking stations and the like

          1. Fuzz

            Re: err

            Charging devices whilst sipping hot beverages is what wireless charging is good for.

            I can't believe this device sourced £100000

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: err

            With wireless charging being integrated into cars, coffee shop tables, airline seats and so on the days of Apple and their silly "wires" is limited.

            1. Simon Buttress
              Big Brother

              Re: err

              That would mean Apple incorporating wireless charging which they're unlikely to do any time soon, and if they do they will develop their own proprietary standard or engineer their products to only work with official Apple licensed induced energy, non-licensed energy will not be allowed.........

            2. JeevesMkII

              Re: err

              Apple already ship seriously deficient wireless data implementations in their devices to stop people actually interfacing with them in non-approved ways. What makes you think wireless charging is going to be any different?

              Interoperability is a dirty word in Cupertino. It's reason number one on the list of why you should never, ever buy i-anything.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: err

                "It's reason number one on the list of why you should never, ever buy i-anything."

                Err no it's not. The fact that you will look like a massive wanker is reason number one.

                Down-vote away, massive wankers.

                1. Zack Mollusc

                  Re: err

                  I _am_ a massive wanker, so i shun iDevices to keep that fact concealed.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: err

                  "Err no it's not. The fact that you will look like a massive wanker is reason number one."

                  I don't need any iThings to look like a massive wanker. I'm such a natural.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: err

                Apple lead and the others end up following - seen the 'dock' connector on the Galaxy tablet - look familiar. Guess the next one will have something light a Lightning connector. Lightning is what micro USB should have been - it's so simple yet genius.

                1. Zippy the Pinhead

                  Re: err

                  Except the universal standard for cellphone connections is NOW the micro-usb. It was approved what 5 or 6 years ago? Fail on Apple for NOT following the standard.

                  1. rvt
                    Facepalm

                    Re: err

                    Zippy,

                    Apple already had there own cable types when the micro USB came out. This was already used for the iPod's and adding a second connector just to charge your device is just ridiculous. Also, you GET a USB cable with your iPad/iPhone/iPad so you can stick it into any USB port without issues.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: err

                    Fail - you mean for daring to make something better. There will probably be a new micro-USB v2 or something soon. Micro-USB compared to Lightning is a non-starter - Lightning is just better.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: err

                      Lightning v2 will be out in a few years as well. This way consumers need to buy adapters, devices, etc. and Apple can extort I mean sell a *new* license to all of their current licensees.

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: err

                      Bugger me! Seriously, has it really come down to wanker trolls arguing over that one connector is better than another?! I've seen some damn pathetic arguments in forums but some people really need to get a life!

                2. Interceptor
                  Big Brother

                  Re: err

                  Just like NuBus, FireWire, AppleTalk and a host of other apple "Standards"

              3. rvt
                Stop

                Re: err

                @JeevesMkII,

                Apple is one of the few that adheres to standards pretty well. I believe they have been using, and continue to do so the 32pin interface cable. All compatible with the iDevices. The lightning cable is new but I can plug it into any mac, PC or USB charging station and it will charge or communicate with the device I plug it into.

                Take any phone from any other brand and they will, or have been suppling different cables throughout the years for each and every different model.

                Also, don't forget it was Apple that used USB first, only after that it was the PC that started to use the USB standard, and the MAC's are still using USB next to the newer standards. Where MS or Adobe used there own media format's, Apple have been using H.268 for very very long times, only for other companies to follow and making it there standard, even Firefox comes back to that decision! webDAV webCAL, all standards used by Apple for there iDevices where for example Microsoft uses it's own 'standards'.

                Also, USB won't work for everything, you cannot reliably transfer video+ audio signals over USB in a predictable way.

                So, don't come to me that Apple doesn't adhere to any standards, they are doing a fine job, may be not perfect, but they are for sure not in a bad position.

                1. SFC
                  Trollface

                  Re: err

                  @rvt

                  The 32pin interface cable isn't a standard, it's an Apple proprietary interface.

                  Apple did NOT use USB first, your're completely off your rocker. They weren't even on the standards committee for it being invented. Apple tried to get everyone to use firewire, which was shunned by the rest of the industry, and eventually gave in to USB.

                  You can't transfer video over the lightning doc at all. USB has 0 issues transferring both.

                  Troll sufficiently fed.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: err

                    History repeating itself. Firewire 800 is superior to USB 2 and now the Lightning connector is far superior to micro USB.

                    Cables are mostly for charging and probably will be for a while as expect wireless charging cannot do 2 amps?

                  2. Frank Bough
                    FAIL

                    Re: err

                    Hang on, if you can't xfer video using the Lightning connector, what the fuck is that Lightning-HDMI cable for?

                2. Ryan 7
                  FAIL

                  Re: err

                  @rvt

                  Logged in just to downvote that. Although, good things to say about Apple must be few and far between if you had to reach for "They still have USB host sockets on Macbooks!!!1!1".

                3. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

                  Re: err

                  Dear rvt,

                  I almost don't know where to start with your nonsense claims.

                  First, the whole point of the "Lightning" connector on new iStuff is that IT'S NOT THE SAME as the proprietary 32 pin thingy that only Apple used. And unlike that old 32 pin interface, this new "Lightning" thing needs a license from Apple. The reason why the changed is, of course, THAT YOU NEED A LICENSE FROM APPLE.

                  Second, no, Apple did not "use USB first", because USB is an Intel innovation, which didn't fit with Apple's PowerPC systems. Apple created Firewire, and look where that is now.

                  Third, Apple has been using H.264 (not H.268) for a while, but don't confuse encoding with container.

                  Fourth, Apple's "standards" are no different from Microsoft's "standards".

                  Fifth, if you have problems with USB, blame the individual device, because *I* can reliable transfer video+audio reliably over USB.

                  Sixth, the issue is not that Apple doesn't adhere to any standards, but that the standards that they adhere to are the ones that suit them, and if they can extort money out of using something else, they've demonstrated that that's EXACTLY what they'll do.

                  1. Andy Christ

                    Re: USB

                    No, Macs had USB before they had Firewire.

                    1. Chris 244

                      Re: Which came first?

                      According to Apple-history.com, USB came first (iMac Aug/98 for USB vs. Power Mac G3 Jan/99 for Firewire).

                4. BristolBachelor Gold badge

                  Re: err

                  @rvt

                  My Galaxy Note very reliably transfers video + audio over it's USB connector to my HDMI TV. Just saying.

                5. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: err

                  LOL, brainwashed much..

                  You seem to only believe Apple's twisted version of the truth.

                  Next thing you will be claiming Quicktime is a open standard.

                6. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: err

                  @ rvt

                  Um... your brain appears to be broken. You should ask for a new one for Christmas.

          3. Frank Bough
            WTF?

            Re: err

            It's almost as if Apple's in business to make money.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: err

        @Chris007,

        That is the fault of the consumer buying an iDevice then. The industry has moved to micro-USB as a charging standard. The Apple solution requires their consumers to carry a converter cable. That is the cost of using an iDevice. Given that Apple won't license the lightning connector to a device that has more than one cable means that if you need a quick charge, you can't use any of those charging stations around.

      3. BillG Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: err

        I think the point is that, for Apple, innovating has taken a back seat to litigating.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: err

      Use micro-USB ports and they can use the Apple micro-USB to Lightning adapter - simple.

      Or just provide USB ports and people can BYOC (bring your own cable).

    3. Arctic fox
      Headmaster

      I apologise for hitching my wagon quite so shamelessly to the first post but I...........

      ..............thought that those contributing to the thread would like to know that Ars Technica are reporting that Cupertino appear to be rowing backwards at high speed. I shall say no more - information only.

      http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/12/apple-lifts-block-on-combo-30-pinlightning-charging-accessories/

  2. dotdavid
    FAIL

    " If it acknowledged the question at all, Cupertino - get this - hasn't responded to our query on the matter."

    I have never understood why Apple are always going off for a sulk when El Reg says something mean about them.

    1. Psyx

      "Cupertino - get this - hasn't responded to our query"

      Say it ain't so!

      "I have never understood why Apple are always going off for a sulk when El Reg says something mean about them."

      They deal with a lot of media outlets. Why court any that are less than sycophantic when you could be paying off Guardian hacks courting those who are?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Are you surprised when some of the comments on here look like they were written by $am$ung PR department.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Spoiled toddler

          So are you seriously excusing Apple behaving like a spoiled toddler just because people here speak their mind?

          That right there is the best reason to avoid Apple then.

          Apple products are designed in "The Peoples Republic of California".

          1. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge
            Big Brother

            Re: Spoiled toddler

            I may not agree with you very often JEDIDIAH, but in this case I agree wholeheartedly. Designed by a unaccountable dicatatorship and assembled in another unaccountable dictatorship.

            Where's the Chairman Mao icon when you need it?

        2. W.O.Frobozz

          Ah yes the Apple fanatic who only posts as an AC. How those thieving koreans must haunt your dreams, spoiling your jobsian utopia. Buck up little fella, maybe some day the Apple cult will be able to sue all their competitors with their false patents and paid-for juries.

          'Samsung' joins 'libtard' in the mccarthy book of slanders I guess.

        3. Dave Bell

          Comments, on any website, can turn into frothing lunacy. They don't really say very much about the site's reporting of subjects.

        4. LOL123
          Joke

          $$$$ are too de rigeur..

          Time to use App£€ I think..

      2. Daniel B.

        Oh, it's easy to know why

        El Reg has been in Apple's shit list since the Jagwyre article. They've probably remained on said list because they don't ever pander to any tech company at all, and Apple only likes media that praises them.

    2. Dana W
      Trollface

      In case you missed it Apple never responds to the Reg. Can you blame them? they prefer to respond only to professional news sites.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        .. they prefer to respond only to professional sycophant news sites.

      2. Tom 13

        Re: professional news sites.

        I found El Reg when ZDNet shutdown AnchorDesk (I presume because like El Reg, they weren't necessarily friendly to the professional bs feeders employed by the major vendors). Similar shit seems to have happened with Tom's Hardware which use to be a good reliable site without overdone advertising.

        I guess what I am saying is you can keep your "professional news sites," I'll stick with straight shooters. Even when I tend to fundamentally disagree with their politics.

    3. Khoos
      Black Helicopters

      Hell hasn't frozen over yet

      I'd expect headline news all over the IT press when "Cupertino" starts giving useful answers to El Reg.

  3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Licensing terms

    The iPhone maker is legally free to restrict licensing as it sees fit

    I'm not so sure about that. Sounds extremely anti-competitive and similar to the position on I-Tunes music that was struck down in court. Licences should be available to all who can pay the (FRAND?) fee and possibly meet quality standards, a perfectly reasonable condition that can be part of the licence.

    This will probably take another ex-territorial manufacturer to develop and release the product and fight Apple in the courts. The developers should probably give someone in Shenzen a call and launch the product.

    1. sisk Silver badge

      Re: Licensing terms

      The lightning connector isn't FRAND because it's not part of any standard. Companies are only required by law to share patents that are part of a standard that would be impossible to implement without them. At least that's how it is in the US.

      1. Lord Voldemortgage

        The legal ins and outs are not my forte but (as expressed in the Reg article) this is clearly behaviour that Apple's customer's ought to resist.

        Whether or not is is overly bulky, unattractive or not cool enough you'd want every option possible for your power hungry devices to get charged - if this thing is going to exist you'd want it to be able to hook up to your iPhone just in case.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Licensing terms

        A fundamental principle of the patent system is that patents are granted on the basis that they can be licensed by anyone, ie. non-discriminatory - the inventor gets protection in return for his willingness to share his invention. AFAIK the lightning connector is designed to work with Thunderbolt which is a standard co-developed by Apple and Intel. But this is actually more about customer rights - the right to buy peripherals and services from alternative suppliers. This is essential to prevent the creation of monopolies.

        1. Tom 13

          Re: Licensing terms

          Patent =/= Frand. If I patent something and refuse to give you a license to use it in your product, that's tough shit. You didn't invent it, you have no right to steal my idea and profit from it. You can argue I would make more money selling it to you than only producing parts myself. You might even be correct in that assertion. But UNTIL my patent EXPIRES, you have NO RIGHT TO MAKE SOMETHING WHICH DEPENDS UPON IT.

          Which is part of why the time to expiration on patents and copyrights is critical to the healthy life cycle of intellectual property. It only joins the commons at that point. It needs to balance benefiting the inventor with benefiting society. Once it may have been off balance in favor of society to the detriment of inventions, but right now it is out of whack in favor of inventors (or at least the people who buy off the inventors) to the detriment of both society and additional invention.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Licensing terms

            Didn't a lot of lawsuits between IBM and Amdahl back in the stone age show you couldn't restrict people making plug compatible peripherals?

            1. Tom 13

              Re: Licensing terms

              Must not have because I spent three long years working for a company that protected the design for their plugs.

      3. Voland's right hand Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Licensing terms

        Charging is subject to standards, at least in the EU.

        In fact Apple should have been taken to task and _NOT_ given Eu certification for any of its new devices.

      4. Tom 13

        Re: lightning connector isn't FRAND

        Then I guess Apple need to be glad Google are there to protect them from becoming a monopoly. Otherwise they'd be in MS IE-style anti-trust territory.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: lightning connector isn't FRAND

          The irony is Google are a near monopoly on so many other things like search.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Licensing terms - tried that

      I was investigating the possible use of a Chinese "pattern part" copy of the 30-way plug. It's legal here in the UK to make pattern parts as long as they do not transgress patents or copyright. There is nothing AFAIK innovative in this connector and it would have looked non-identical, at least to the calibrated "moron in a hurry" they use, nice work if eligible :-)

      Anyway, the upshot was that the Chinese were shit scared, even at the less scrupulous end of the market.

      Whatever happened to the EU directive that phones shall use a micro-USB charger? .

      1. The Indomitable Gall

        Re: Licensing terms - tried that

        "Whatever happened to the EU directive that phones shall use a micro-USB charger? ."

        Someone tacked on the proviso that it's compliant if an adaptor is available, neatly sidestepping the whole effing point of having a standard charging connector.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Licensing terms - tried that

        Interesting anecdote about how far Apple can now reach into the Chinese market.

      3. rvt

        Re: Licensing terms - tried that

        "Whatever happened to the EU directive that phones shall use a micro-USB charger?"

        I believe that was a recommendation, there isn't a law that phones must have a micro-USB plug for charging. I do believe (don't know the source) that Apple was questioned once about why don't don't have micro-USB plug and there argument is that there cable's are USB compatible and they have been using the same cable already for over 9 or 10 years. There points where valid.

        Again, I don't know the source anymore but I believe that was what has been said..

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Just include a lightning to USB connecter and don't mention it anywhere.

    1. GettinSadda
      Boffin

      Simple!

      Build exactly as per original spec, but instead of the lightning connection, include an internal USB connector with a cable hole and offer it with or without a separate USB->Lightning cable (made by someone else?) that connects to this makes the whole combination exactly as per the original idea.

  5. b166er

    Boycott Apple?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      indeed. the solution isn't to "bundle a free lightning connector" or anything like that (which would just get stolen were it in a bar or coffee shop or whatever anyway)

      The solution is to tell apple to go and f*** themselves. If enough microUSB everythings appeared everywhere they'd have little choice but to comply.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        > indeed. the solution isn't to "bundle a free lightning connector" or anything like that (which would just get stolen were it in a bar or coffee shop or whatever anyway)

        Have you actually seen the Kickstarter page? I guess not because there was always going to be an adapter, the charging wires all terminate in microUSB.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        'The solution is to tell apple to go and f*** themselves. '

        Sadly, he decided to tell the people who had invested in his product to do that instead. Apparently half of them didn't even have iOS devices at all. Apple's policy on connectors may be effing stupid, but this guy's acted like a spoilt child.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > but this guy's acted like a spoilt child.

          Or maybe a smart child - one who never mass produced a device in his life, made false promises (no way he was putting in a 26000 mAh li-ion battery, plastic moulds, etc in for that price in 1000 quantities) and then found the perfect excuse to get out of it while plugging his own crowdfunding site.

          Not a bad move if you ask me.

          1. dssf

            But, does it seem he is trying to screw any customers?

            I just read:

            https://secure.christiestreet.com/about

            And the sponsorship/supporing, and refundidng mechnanism explanation are what I wish I read about on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

            It is almost an amalgem of traditional invention submission/inventor society type ingress, but supported by crowd funding instead of investor funding.

            I like that they release 1/3 of the funding after the campaign ends, so the inventors can run off to a suitable IP attorney and factory (matched by Christtie Street? I don't know) to get prototypes made. I do not recall reading such support in KS or IGG material on their respective sites.

            Now, if CS is going to be really successful, and do something I think KS and IGG are not doing, then CS needs to partner with IP lawyers, patent filing experts, and local area manufacturers to drive down the costs associated with patenting.

            That's an atttactive lure, especially since KS and IGG and similar crowdfunding sites suggest that creators/inventors do not advert more than 2 simultaneous campaigns, in order to avoid "donor fatigue". With KS, it appears that a creator has good luck and good timing, s/he can advert and release products on staged timing cyces and if up front about his/her campaign's, products' progress, then might avert the fear of "donor fatigue". If a product reaches a sufficient amount of funding prior to the end of the campaign, and if the money could be escrowed and in part released for document vetting and patent filing, and AS LONG AS the donors agree to it prior to donating, then CS might be THE best crowdfunding site to come along, as long as they are and remain professional and are not taking a cut so huge you're almost no different from being with equity funding.

            If all this is true, then CS is the very idea I thought of a few weeks ago. In the name of integrity and sincerity, I wanted to deliberately have my Indiegogo campaign spell out the risks along with the rewards, and to up-front tell the donors that I wanted to escrow their fundings and self-limit myself to taking and using initially ONLY what it would take to officially certify and file the invention docs, then get a prototype going. This could only partially be met on IGG, as I think that IGG does not explicitly demand a physical, non-photo-realistic product to appear on the site. That is what turned me off to KS.

            Unfortunately, as much as I am tempted to jump to CS, they for now appear to have only ONE displayed campaign. If they start getting plugged by major news outlets and carry a few hundred tech or geek or other inventors, then I will DEFINITELY swing to them. I would do so because I am not dumb enough to display my sketches ahead of having a physical prototype. And, without money, I cannot yet show a prototype. If I did, I'd be beaten to manufacture. The trick is to show enough of the prototype sketch, but then maybe receive directional votes from funders, and get their blessing to crank out two prototype sketch finalists once the first 1/3 of funding is released for filing. This allows the inventor to sidestep the last-minute discovery of a patent protected invention discovered too late to warn the funders.

            I think that if CS is legit and worthy of a shift, we'll in a few months see more tech/geeky products move to there or advert in parallel as a hedge. Having production assistance in the loop (if they do not behave as equity investors or sharks) can remove several nearly-insurmountable obstacles.

            1. dssf

              Re: But, does it seem he is trying to screw any customers?

              As of 11 hours ago (it is 0320 PST for me), the KS project appears to still be on. It just to me seems the CS site creators may have undergone some angst over their understanding of KS' refund policy, modified heavily by the uncertainty of Apple's pending decision. On the KS comments at:

              http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/siminoff/pop-the-intersection-of-charging-and-design/comments

              It seems that Apple is not asking for a license to use the cable alongside other USB cables. The CS site creator appears to be promising he will hand deliver a funder her product when it is ready to ship. Seems he is committing himself to a coast-to-coast flight from Jersey to Santa Monica/nearby.

              Interesting.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Hard wire an Apple lightning cable - job done.

    2. sisk Silver badge

      Done. For several years now. It's been working out pretty well for me.

    3. Dana W
      Meh

      For this? Why? I never even heard of this charger.

      Besides before you know it the Chinese crap factories will be slamming everyone with piles of fake Lightning connectors via eBay and everyone with an Apple hate on can fry their expensive gear with five dollar adapters to their heart's content.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > Besides before you know it the Chinese crap factories will be slamming everyone with piles of fake Lightning connectors via eBay

        Already are.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Neat marketing

        "For this? Why? I never even heard of this charger."

        ... well you have now.

        Of course I'm not cynical enough to think this was a deliberate move to get publicity, but as things turned out, this Kickstarter project has just gone and got a whole lot more publicity that it could ever have hoped for.

        Unless they are really stupid, the project will now end up with a much larger audience for their non-iDevice charger, and Apple will once again look stupid: ideally in the coffee shops where their fanbois hang out. Result!

      3. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        "I only buy Monster brand cables"

        > and everyone with an Apple hate on can fry their expensive gear with five dollar adapters to their heart's content.

        Why would that happen?

        I suppose you're a big fan of Monster cables too.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Five dollars! I'll wait until I can get one in Poundland.

    4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      >Boycott Apple?

      A computer that stands there blocking for 3days, then sores 200, then slaps your girlfriend

  6. moiety

    For £10 or so...

    ...you can have a Chinese one from ebay that takes 4x18690 batteries, so you can pack around 16,000 mWh in there. Just add a USB --> Lightning connector and you're there. And the Chinese ones are square, so better for travelling.

    A search for "5v 18650" turns up a bunch of them.

    1. moiety

      Re: For £10 or so...

      Erratum: "4x18690" should read "4x18650"

      1. Steve Knox Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Erratum: "4x18690" should read "4x18650"

        A little better, but who's going to carry around 74,600 batteries?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For £10 or so...

      If you want 4 x 18650 batteries for £10 - good luck. Those things hold quite a lot of power and buying the lot for £10 probably means you are buying faulty cells or ones recycled from laptop battery packs. High quality cells from someone like Panasonic can run to about £10 each - maybe a bit less in quantity.

      Also 4 cells would not give you 16000mah as each cell is not 4000mah - the best cells are usually around 3000-3100mah and that is not even at 5v required for USB - the max voltage of the cells is around 4.2v and the nominal voltage 3.7v - so 4 x 3000mah cells would give 12000mah at 3.7v and probably more like 8000mah at 5v (with conversion losses).

      1. moiety

        Re: For £10 or so...

        Well the charger was around £10...you still have to buy batteries. But here:

        http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4X-UltraFire-18650-3-7V-Rechargeable-Li-ion-Battery-4900mAh-Purple-/180961966166?pt=UK_Camera_Batteries&hash=item2a222c7856

        I bought 4 ultrafire 3600 mAh last year (and 10 x 2000 mAh for other people) and they are all still perky and haven't exploded or anything. I didn't -have to confess here- remember about the change to 5v and what effect that would have on the milliamperage; nor do I claim to be a battery expert.

        The year before that I bought (another) torch and 2 x 2000 mAh batteries and they are still going strong too.

        Anyway...say you're 100% correct...that's still pretty well a total laptop charge or a couple/few phone charges for around £10 for the charger plus more for whatever batteries you choose to throw in there.

  7. James Hughes 1

    Hmmm

    All the effort the EU goes to to reduce waste by mandating uUSB as the charging standard, a standard which is being taken up worldwide, wrecked by a company who is seemingly desperate to maintain it's income.

    If this product goes ahead (without the Apple connectors, although I'm sure a cheap as chips uUSB->Lightening adapter could get round the problem), then it should sit in coffee bars everywhere, with a sign on it saying "Apple refused us a licence to help save waste - Buy elsewhere"

    Or something.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Re: Hmmm

      Micro USB as a connector sucks, small fiddly and directional. The Apple connector is actually a good idea, it's just that they don't let anyone else use it.

      But it is a sad day when you have to rely on a port connector as a selling point for your device.

      1. Zippy the Pinhead

        Re: Hmmm

        I'm never had an issue plugging one in.. takes 1 second even in the dark.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmm

      It would be great if the EU were to get it's teeth into Apple and blanket ban any mobe that doesn't use a built-in uUSB charging mechanism.

      Apple would cry foul, but the purpose of imposing a charging standard is worthy.

    3. mccp

      Re: Hmmm

      Isn't the point of this standardisation to make sure that you can use a single charger with any data enabled phone and not to ensure that every phone has a uUSB connector? God forbid that uUSB is the connector technology that any standards compliant manufacturer must now use forever.

      Every iPhone I've had comes with a charger with a USB type A socket on it - I can use that charger with any phone designed to use the EU common external power supply by using the relevant cable. This seems more sensible than having a charger with a fixed uUSB terminated cable.

      In any case, as far as I can tell, Apple comply with the EU common external power supply standard as long as they provide a cable that will connect the iPhone to an EU EPS, which they do.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmm

        >God forbid that uUSB is the connector technology that any standards compliant manufacturer must now use forever.

        Yes but I said "charging mechanism", not connector tech. There's no reason why the iThings couldn't retain their lightning connector, but still have a separate uUSB which doesn't do anything other than charge. It could still charge through the lightning connector too.

        We used to have phones that had a charge that was completely separate from the data connector. There wasn't a lot wrong with that idea. It's buttons extra pence I'm sure, and takes up a tiny bit more space but would it be a major backtrack to reimplement that for uUSB?

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: Hmmm

          Such a dual port scheme would also allow you to use expansion products for your Apple devices while also being able to charge your device. You wouldn't be left in a situation where you can't really fully take advantage of all your doodads because you'll run out of power.

          Sometimes I wonder if those blindly devoted to Apple do much of anything with their overpriced tokens of conspicuous consumption.

      2. Jonathan White

        Re: Hmmm

        'Isn't the point of this standardisation to make sure that you can use a single charger with any data enabled phone and not to ensure that every phone has a uUSB connector? God forbid that uUSB is the connector technology that any standards compliant manufacturer must now use forever.'

        It's not even a useful standard anyway. OK, you have a micro-USB port on your mobile device. That's fine. But the variation in ampage required to actually charge various makes of device is insane. I've seen some that will charge fine on an iPhone charger but not on an iPad charger and others that are vice versa. Ones that will work fine with both of those but not a BB charger and will say they are charging on a Nexus 7 charger but in fact weren't actually charging much at all (I test mobile devices as part of my job. I have LOTS of USB chargers hanging around). The only consistency I've found is that any device will charge with the charger that comes with it. Anything else? Whim of the Gods.

        I've got 4 USB chargers on my desk here. Yes really. They're all rated at 5V. The ampage ratings are 1.2A, 2A, 0.7A and 2.1A. So a device that only needs .5A will charge on all of them, but one that requires 2A will only charge on two of them. One that specifically requires 2A will only charge on one. Standard? What standard?

        Basically put, with the EU standard you can be sure the wire from your charger will plug into the port on your device. Can you actually be sure the charger will charge your device? No, not at all. So the 'standardisation' is in fact a complete waste of time.

        'Scuse me, rant over.

        1. fung0
          Headmaster

          Re: Hmmm

          "Basically put, with the EU standard you can be sure the wire from your charger will plug into the port on your device. Can you actually be sure the charger will charge your device?"

          Yes, I can be sure, because the standard would make me free to select any decent-quality high-amp charger.

          The point of the standard clearly isn't to guarantee that every charger will work with every device, day one. The point is to ensure that consumers are ABLE to buy a single charger that will work with all their devices. Since chargers are already tending to offer the highest amperage needed by current devices, the overall effect would be that most halfway-decent chargers would indeed handle any device.

          But that's looking at it backwards anyway. The real point here is that there's simply no reason to have more than one type of connector - except to create an undeserved consumer lock-in. Governments are right to regulate this sort of corporate behavior... given that some consumers will always be idiots enough not to shun it.

        2. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Hmmm

          One that specifically needs regulated 5VDC @ 2A and won't work with regulated 5VDC @ 2.1A?

          Slightly concerned that you think that could exist, given that you claim that's your job...

          Apple used to have a data connection to the charger to refuse to charge if it wasn't appropriately blessed, but I don't think they do that anymore.

          Although to be fair, there are a lot of "copies" of USB chargers that don't actually contain a regulated power supply and are barely more than an oscillator and a transistor, but those tend to not work at all, catch fire, kill/injure the user via electric shock and/or destroy the device.

          Those are actually illegal to sell in the EU, unfortunately Trading Standards seem far more interested in chasing copied CDs than dangerous goods, if the TV show us anything to go by.

  8. Lee Taylor
    Facepalm

    They didn't research the name either, just type POP STATION into you tube and watch one of the hilarious reviews by Dr Ashens

  9. Alain Moran

    Simple solution ... have a nice standard jack output and then bundle free adaptors with the product itself!

    1. Frank Bough
      Thumb Up

      By George, I think you've got something there!

  10. sisk Silver badge

    The solution is, of course, to buy equipment and throw away everything without an Apple logo; this is such a simple solution it makes one wonder why the people at POP even bothered fitting other connectors in the first place.

    There, fixed that for you.

    Seriously, if they can't be bothered to license the connector needed to get their newest phones out because it also charges stuff they don't want people to buy then leave them out of it. It's their loss.

    1. sisk Silver badge

      Huh, I just now noticed my typo.

      throw away everything with an Apple logo

      There, corrected myself.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple stock is down another 2% from opening price. Keeps declining. Wonder why.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Tim99 Silver badge
      Meh

      @AC 14:20

      When I looked a few minutes ago AAPL was -1.4%; and MSFT -1.6%; and HP -1.3%; and DELL -1.9%.

      AAPL are now down 0.9%; and GOOG are down 0.7% - So your point was?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well, wonder no more: U.S. Speaker Boehner drops ‘Plan B,’ fiscal cliff approaches.

      What, you thought it was because of claims made by a KS project?

      Hope you don't invest anyone's money in stocks.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Is it? Bought some stock just the other day when all the AC naysayers said the only way was down.

      Already made about $50.

      Keep it up, seems to work!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    The Reg would never report the whole story would it...

    This project's owner started a Kickstarter competitor called Christie Street about a month ago and the plan now was to move all these 1000 backers to his crowdfunding site as it apparently that would make refunds easier.

    Why would contacting all backers, moving them to a new site and then refunding them there be easier than just refunding them directly on Kickstarter is left to one's imagination.

    Of course some are smelling a rotten rat in this story, but no surprise El Reg din't pick it up since it's nose is only tuned to picking out flaws in fruit.

    1. Captain Underpants

      Re: The Reg would never report the whole story would it...

      @Nine Circles

      Interesting development; got any links to verifiable or reputable accounts of this claim? Because otherwise you sound like someone defending Apple's bellendery with what amounts to" yeah, but the guy's totally a crook, someone down the pub said so".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Reg would never report the whole story would it...

        How about the kickstarter update itself?

        "so a few weeks ago we launched our own crowdfunding site, Christie Street. Built from the ground up around product, Christie Street is designed to handle needs that can arise from products – such as refunds – in order to prevent compromised products from being delivered.

        In order to process refunds efficiently we are going to set you all up with Christie Street accounts, and there, you will be able to process your refund."

        You can also read it more reputable outlets who do research their articles. Like the Verge:

        http://www.theverge.com/2012/12/20/3789504/kickstarter-charger-pop-turns-to-competitor-to-process-refunds-apple

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Reg would never report the whole story would it...

        @Captain Underpants

        http://www.theverge.com/2012/12/20/3789504/kickstarter-charger-pop-turns-to-competitor-to-process-refunds-apple

        Some comments following the article also suggest it was all a ruse to get people over to Christie Street (the kickstarter competitor which happened to be started by the charger's "inventor")

        May not be true, but the association doesn't help make things clearer.

    2. MissingSecurity

      Re: The Reg would never report the whole story would it...

      Sigh. Do black helicopters always fly around you?

      Kicker starter relies on the people who create the project to handle all refunds and such. It does not by extension give the creates a platform to offer refunds to their supports.

      Christie Street on the other hand does. Which yes, was create by the same guys as the project, But who the fuck cares? Kick Start leaves it up to the creator to refund, therefore the platform the creator uses to refund is his business.

      And so what if they use it for PR. Big deal. It doesn't change the fact that Apple still has a stick up their ass.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Reg would never report the whole story would it...

        That's bullshit. Kickstarter also doesn't give a platform for creators to move their backers to other platforms, and yet that was the plan.

        I - like over 800 other backers - had a refund from the Joyride project on Kickstarter, without any song and dance of registering people in other platforms.

      2. dssf

        Re: The Reg would never report the whole story would it...

        Why didn't they go to Indiegogo? Indiegogo, IIUC, has existed before July 2012, so if they had looked at the refund policies, and had they considered it, they might have gone to Indiegogo.

        IIUC, on Kickstarter, your physical projects campaigns need a real, existing product or prototype, not a photorealistic presentation, to be cleared by Kickstarter project/campaign approvers. IIUC, Indiegogo does not, and that is what swayed me to seriously look at and start to like Indiegogo. Otherwise, Kickstarter probably has a more solid tech reputation.

        Still, boo on Kickstarter for not making it possible to do refunds, if that bit of the story is factual. Otherwise, I find it bizarre that Kickstarter would not facilitate the refunding process since they have all the necessary info. If a donor is anonymous, and pitches in, say, $25,000, and a create/creator is sufficiently hungry enough, he or she could say, "due to privacy reasons and Kickstarter's own policies, I have no way of knowing who my anonymous donors are, and you cannot prove you are one, or 7 claimed when only 3 actuals existed. Sorry, I will keep the money unless you REALLY can prove it AND have tenacioius attorneys....

  13. csmac3144

    And to think people used to think Microsoft was evil!

    Apple has always been FAR more evil than Microsoft (and I own about 7 or 8 Apple products).

    1. fung0

      "Apple has always been FAR more evil than Microsoft (and I own about 7 or 8 Apple products)."

      It doesn't bother you that you knowingly ENABLED them to be far more evil? At least they did it for billions in earnings. You sold your soul just for the sake of having "7 or 8" shiny new toys.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @fung0 05:47

        "You sold your soul..."

        What the hell are you on about, you prat? The person may have compromised their integrity by willingly buying products from a company they don't really like much but it's hardly a choice between "heaven and hell" is it?!

        I don't really like MS that much, being a Linux user most of the time, but I love playing Skyrim on my 360 and I have no issue fixing Windows for friends and family. I respect someone elses choices even if I don't like the product because I respect and want to help my friends and family. They didn't say shag my dog or I'll kill your kids, that's where you have no choice and have to give up any standards in order to ensure you save the things that matter most!

        Get a sense of perspective for fuck's sake, it's a huge world that's not all black and white, there's a billion shades of grey.

  14. FuzzyTheBear
    Pint

    As long as there's suckers ...

    buying their stuff knowing fully well each time there's a new model , none of the accessories will be usable and have to be purchased once again Apple is making money . Your choice . As far as i'm concerned their lack of respect for my wallet just made me kick them to the curb a long time ago .They are ridiculous .

    Time for a pint

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As long as there's suckers ...

      You say that, yet Apple has kept their accessory connectors far longer than any so called standard.

      microUSB didn't even exist at the time of the first iPhone, how could Apple have used it.. Unlike others they also sell an adapter so even my 5 year old dock made for iPods still works with the new port.

      On the other hand MicroUSB has shown to be a shockingly (no pun intended) bad standard at anything other than phone charging, witness the list of incompatible extensions that have been grafted into it just in past 3 years.. First came MHL, then not-so-MHL on the GS3, now SlimPort is supposed to be THE great thing.

      So in 3 years of microUSB we had 3 incompatible output "standards" each expecting you to throw away your previous adapter.

      For tablet charging it's even worse, as the Nexus 10 shows with it's 13 hour charging time vs 6 hours for the Lightning equipped iPad.

      It's clear microUSB is already dated and doesn't cut it anymore. It needs to be replaced soon. I'll be around with my popcorn when that time comes.

      1. Dana W

        Re: As long as there's suckers ...

        I have an iPad Mini, but i had a Nexus 7 and to be fair, the Nexus 7 only charges that slowly over a standard USB port. If you use the packed in charger its MUCH faster than that.

        One thing I like about the iPad Mini is my usb based charging stuff actually works for it, so I don't need to drag that big Asus wallwart around like I did with the Nexus 7.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: As long as there's suckers ...

          I have an iPad Mini, but i had a Nexus 7 and to be fair, the Nexus 7 only charges that slowly over a standard USB port. If you use the packed in charger its MUCH faster than that.

          That's true for the Nexus 7, but not for the Nexus 10 which has a much larger battery to power its hi-res display.

          The Nexus 10 suffers from current limitations of the microUSB port itself, it's slow to charge even if you use the bundled AC adapter.

      2. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

        Re: As long as there's suckers ...

        Your rant would have had more impact had it had more accuracy.

        The public launch of microUSB happened about a week before the public launch of the iPhone.

        Also, while it is true that efforts to graft things like HDMI out onto microUSB haven't been particularly well received, you appear to have missed the fact that microUSB is utterly effective at both charging and data transfer. This despite the fact that it only has 4 pins compared to an interface with 8 times as many!

    2. Dana W
      FAIL

      Re: As long as there's suckers ...

      They last changed the adapter in 2003 when they went form fire-wire to the original Apple dock connector.

      The only people who think ten years is a short turnaround on a "new model" are Windows fanbois.

    3. Frank Bough
      WTF?

      Re: As long as there's suckers ...

      You are a deluded fool. Expecting a business to respect your wallet? What world do you live in? Apple have replaced their crappy 32pin connecter with a nicely designed new one, that has annoying consequences for peripheral owners, but when wasn't that the case with computer hardware?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The POP portable charger doesn't need any license from Apple. Just use the standard USB connectors and let user supply the bullet adapter needed for their Apple device. If I had an Apple device I would connect the Lightning connector to the end of a lightning rod.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's what's smelling a bit fishy here.

      The plan for POP was from the start to have MicroUSB connectors and then each would have an adapter for the 30 pin connector - see their kickstarter page.

      They also never promised lightning connectors since those only came out after the project was funded.

      So if this was the only problem it definitely wasn't a showstopper.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        For some stinkin' suspicion, I think that "lighting" bolt logo on the POP's lid may be the clue. The web site is still taking orders.

  16. MikeS

    its just apple just screwing yet more profit from ther customers

    the stupid thing really is that the so called 'lightening' connector is really nothing more that a USB2 anyway . Just apple put their 'clever' connector on the end (which is why the genuine cables are so simple no complex electronics needed to convert it).

    >http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/12/apples-new-lightning-connector-what-it-does-and-doesnt-change/

    it's just another example of how a$$le charge their unwitting punters £25 for something that costs them pence to make, And if they had just stuck to an actual USB connector could get for a couple of quid or less on e-bay.

    1. Dana W

      Re: its just apple just screwing yet more profit from ther customers

      And if they had put special electronics in it you wound have accused them of profiteering with specialty "smart" cables.

      1. MikeS
        FAIL

        Re: its just apple just screwing yet more profit from ther customers

        no if they had there might be some excuse, but they haven't, and they still charge £25 for a connector that's otherwise worth about 50p. you missed the point entirely.

      2. Dana W
        Meh

        Re: its just apple just screwing yet more profit from ther customers

        How did I lie? A simple cable is apparently bad, but when Apple did cables with electronics in them that was bad too. You can't win no matter what you do.

        Just admit the "First Church of the immaculate Android" and its sea of ravening fanbois has turned out to be more brittle and crazy than ANYBODY who ever bought an iPad.

        Or am I just going to get thumbed down for anything I say by sad butthurt Android fanbois who get pissy when their Google masters get crossed?

        I've heard "Fanboi, Fanboi, Fanboi on these forums for years, but the cult behavior of the Android cultists is giving that term a whole new meaning.

        1. MikeS

          Re: its just apple just screwing yet more profit from ther customers

          I never accused you of telling lies ? and as for your rant...

          if you are happy to pay £25 for something that essentially a simple USB cable with a patented connector design on one end then in your language it seems that you are the' crazy' apple cult vgollwing fanboi/girl rather than anyone else.

          (and how dare anyone vote you down LOL as you know only your opinion counts)

          1. Dana W
            Trollface

            Re: its just apple just screwing yet more profit from ther customers

            Fandroid "Android Fanboi" Worth a look.

            http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fandroid

            1. MikeS

              Re: its just apple just screwing yet more profit from ther customers

              in your original reply (and mine) referred to fanboi not fandroid, and that's is defined in there are

              'Someone who is hopelessly devoted to something and will like anything associated with their particular thing.'

              which seems to correctly define your love of anything Apple, (note I didnt say there is anything wrong with that)

              What I don't understand is why you seemingly feel the need to attack anyone who may have a different point of view from yours. all a bit sad really.

              1. Dana W
                FAIL

                Re: its just apple just screwing yet more profit from ther customers

                Actually I got sick of anybody being relentlessly thumbed down by zombies for saying anything positive about Apple.

                I actually BOUGHT an Android tablet. NO tech solution is perfect, I've been saying for a while, there is NO perfect tech answer from ANY company. I don't care if its fruit, robots or panes of glass. I've been saying this here for a while.

                The problem is reflex zealots who have to defend the "Holy solution" no matter which face it has. Everyone has some positives and negatives, Even Microsoft.

      3. sisk Silver badge

        Re: its just apple just screwing yet more profit from ther customers

        And if they had put special electronics in it you wound have accused them of profiteering with specialty "smart" cables.

        I don't know if Mike would, but I certainly would. What's more, it would be an accurate accusation. Pretty much everything Apple does is profiteering of one sort or another.

        Which is fine. It's called capitalism. That doesn't mean we can't call it like it is.

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      I'm no Apple fan, but....

      The lighting connector is not the same as a USB connector, because the connections inside the computer are different. You don't want two different interface types that use the same physical cable, as that confuses the plebs who try to plug one into the other and get confused when it doesn't work. If the new iOS devices have internal chippery that talks both Lightning and USB, great. I have an old USB mouse at home that has a PS2 controller chip inside, and I can attach a PS2 adaptor (with no fancy components) and plug it into a PS2 port -- but that doesn't mean PS2 and USB are the same technology, and it certainly doesn't mean

      that the USB standard should have mandated a PS2 connector!

      I'm not a fan of Apple's money-sucking lock-in, and I will only buy Apple when my current dev project matures to the point where I have to start actively testing the cross-platform portability (and even then it will be under protest). I'm not even sure I'll be able to release for iOS (as my revenue model is more online subscription than app, and if Apple thinks it can suck 30% out of my server revenues they're sorely mistaken).

      But I still wouldn't criticise them for using a different shaped connector for a different type of connection!

      1. Dana W
        Meh

        Re: I'm no Apple fan, but....

        The real reason for the new Apple connector is pretty basic. Stupid people can't break their phones or tablets forcing the plug in upside down. "This saves Apple a lot on warranty repairs"

        And yes this happens a lot with dumb people and the old Apple dock connector. Also with mini and micro USB. I stopped one from doing that to a Nexus 7 yesterday. And have seen it done to classic Kindles more than once.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm no Apple fan, but....

          The lightning connector is so simple it really is what micro USB should have been - but Apple did it whereas everyone else di*ks around with mini USB, micro USB, teeny weeny USB and still not as good.

          The genius is it's well made, rugged and you can plug it in either way - pretty much everything you could ask for - now Apple make it everyone else wishes they had done it.

          Sure wireless charging is a great idea but still a few years off and can it charge at 10w (5v / 2a) - perhaps but not sure we will be ditching cables within the next few years so for now Lightning is about the best we have.

          1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

            Re: I'm no Apple fan, but....

            You'll get no objection from me in claiming that the Lightning connector is, in many ways, a better connector than microUSB (8 pins versus 4 pins), nor that making the thing symmetrical is a very elegant solution to the issue of idiots forcing cables in the wrong way round.

            Where Apple's design becomes detestable is that THE CONNECTOR contains electronics. Yup, there's an authentication chip *in the cable* to prevent you from using products that haven't genuflected (and paid) Cupertino. This is scummy.

            And unnecessary: the signal routing mechanism required by the symmetrical connector belongs more on the circuit board than in the cable.

            Granted, there may be some level of sense in having a cable validation scheme for things like HDMI output, etc. but for charging? Never!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm no Apple fan, but....

          That's what makes good design - you refine it / reduce it / perfect it. Lightning is so far better than micro USB.

          A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away - Antoine de Saint Exupéry.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm no Apple fan, but....

        >But I still wouldn't criticise them for using a different shaped connector for a different type of connection!

        reading the comments there is no criticism in using a different shaped connector, it is a criticism of the huge profit mark-up they put on it.

  17. Asher Pat

    iFrand

    Apple: "FRAND-ness for me, not for thee"

  18. Richard Cartledge

    Not surprising it's going this way. For the iPhone 5S, Apple are in talks with utility companies about taking a cut of the charging cost in return for exclusivity lock-in.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The best idea is to not buy from manufacturers who restrict interoperability of their products

    Having to get a license to use a connector for a mass produced product when many external third party devices exist which use that connector is nonsense. IP Law is nonsense; just admit it everyone, it is a state, legal and corporate protection racket; it was stifling in the late 20th century, it is toxic in the 21st century.

    The most Apple should be given the _state_ privilege for is rights to restrict use of a logo or message saying a device has an approved connector, charge for reasonable testing and approval to use this logo, and caution their customers (prisoners) about use of unapproved devices; but not be allowed to stop sales of devices or require signal dongles for otherwise electrically compatible connectors and electronics.

    I see the i prefix on all Apple products as short for imprisonment to enslave the user as a cash cow, not i for I or individual to offer genuine choice.

    This is just another area where Apple is behaving like a megalomaniac prison warden.

    Where feasible I always prefer to build with and use free and open-source based products, so have an Android tablet rather than one of the Apple imprisonment devices. I am disgusted at seeing any Apple devices, and think less of those owned by them; sure I could afford to buy several without blinking, but I know better because I'm an investor and a purchaser, not a sheeple consumer.

    1. Toothpick
      Mushroom

      Re: The best idea is to not buy from manufacturers who restrict interoperability of their products

      I am disgusted at seeing any Apple devices, and think less of those owned by them.

      You judge your friends by what make of tablet, phone etc they have? What a twat.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The best idea is to not buy from manufacturers who restrict interoperability of their products

      "I am disgusted at seeing any Apple devices, and think less of those owned by them; sure I could afford to buy several without blinking, but I know better because I'm an investor and a purchaser, not a sheeple consumer."

      I pride myself on having a healthy open minded attitude to other's choices, that's why I have a good circle of friends and family. I don't give a rat's arse what they decide to connect to the big wide world with, I judge people on their personality, that means developing my own and being able to communicate with them face-to-face, not squating in my Mum's basement spitting bile at people who have decided to make choices different from my own.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not creative enough

    I bought a 3rd-party Car charger for my MBP, since Apple doesn't make one, and using an inverter (so DC->AC->DC) seems silly and wasteful.

    The 3rd-party buys genuine Apple MagSafe connectors (no clue how) and uses them in their products. That way they skirt around it. Couldn't this place do the same?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    "Apple changed Phone accessory guidelines, is not standing in the way of POP charger"

    100 misguided comments after here's the truth:

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/12/21/3793488/apple-changes-iphone-accessory-guidelines-is-not-standing-in-the-way-of-pop-accessory

    Quite curious to see how the POP charger will move now that they can't blame Apple.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iDontGiveAShit

    My daughter's Samsung Galaxy happily charges from my mains and car BlackBerry chargers. Fuck you anti-competitive Apple!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Toothpick
      Megaphone

      Re: iDontGiveAShit

      I have a Tom Tom Sat Nav in car charger and a Kindle mains charger and guess what? They both charge my FruitPhone. What will they think of next?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That means nothing - Apple iPhones happily charges from mains and car chargers.

  24. ptmmac
    Unhappy

    Could you please update this article in light of Artic fox's post?

    It doesn't seem like The Reg is very informed on this one. If you read the link from Ars Technica you would see that the story does not really support the usual Reg Apple kit bashing meme. Apple did make their license available, but the developer wanted to get some controversy for his own Kickstarter competitor. What better way than to give refunds for a product that was canceled before Apple replied and which did not have the Apple part in its original form. This is weak reporting of a shyster scheme. El Reg should be ashamed of itself, or at least repentant enough to admit a mistake

  25. Eddie Edwards

    Not to rain on anyone's parade, but ...

    Update: 12/21 22:16 GMT by S : Apple has relented. A spokesman for the company told Ars, "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."

    For my money Lightning is a vast improvement on micro USB and the old iPhone connector, namely that you can plug it in easily in the dark. And apparently it can carry a bunch of different signals based on a config chip in the plug. I'm not sure how well it will cope with trouser fluff getting stuffed into it over the months, though. The official cables are no more expensive than the old official cables either. We'll have to wait for cheaper knock-offs. A shame I can't make one myself, as I could with the older connector, but that's a minor blemish on what looks like a major improvement.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not to rain on anyone's parade, but ...

      Crikey you can't say that on here - Apple is Bad remember - now repeat after me Apple Bad, Samsung Good, Apple Bad, Google Good... never mind the truth it's Apple BAD ok?

  26. Stoneshop Silver badge

    So

    You build these things with just a USB-A socket in the place you would have put the Lightning cord come out, order a sufficient number of USB-Lihtning cables *) and adapt the design a bit so that the cable can be locked in place. Bundle the charger with the Lightning cable, done.

    *) readily available from your Chinese tat-vendor site of choice, such as this one: http://dx.com/p/8-pin-lightning-male-to-micro-usb-female-adapter-for-iphone-5-mini-ipad-ipod-touch-5-white-175459

  27. MrMcginty
    Thumb Down

    Story completely wrong

    The link provided in the article - http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/siminoff/pop-the-intersection-of-charging-and-design/posts - tells a different story. Apple changed the rules after Wired brought this to the world's attention. The project is going ahead, and the makers are opening a crate of champagne, from the tone of the post.

  28. h3

    Micro usb is a god awful connector. Even mini usb seems to get damaged far less frequently.

    Firewire was / is great. (It would be even more useful these days as the ease of use for networking stuff has vastly improved.)

    USB is good enough when you have no other option.

    I used to use firewire instead of usb 2.0

    But now I just use esata. (Or usb if I am at someone's machine without it temporarily).

    SCSI/SAS/Firewire were designed properly.

    SATA/USB/IDE were cheap hacks.

    (No reason why everyone couldn't just use SAS (Probably the same drives could be flashed). Other than price fixing).

    Apple is probably fine for quite a few people but definitely not for me.

    (It is even a quality thing for many things there is one that is blessed by Apple but stupidly expensive and not necessarily all that good. 3rd party things emulating them are better.

    (Look at the controllers that emulate the icade for example.)

    GPS devices for the wifi ipad is another situation. (There are 2 and they both cost £100 same price exactly as switching to the 3G ipad). Don't think anyone has emulated this though. There is a cydia app for £5 that allows any BT GPS to be used. It is a complete replacement of the bluetooth stack and it works great it would be trivially easy for them to allow it. (Or put a $5 GPS chip in).

    etc etc

  29. Tex Arcana
    Devil

    So Rotten Apple won't play nice?

    Screw them. They're just jealous that someone else came up with something as elegant and clean as the fabled iToaster.

    Simioff: just effing make this. It's a great design and great idea. Just make it, and make the iPwn feeples (fanboi sheeple) buy Dead Steve Jobs' "Lightning" adapter.

    The rest of us will line up for this awesome device and make our lives easier, likely without iPwn devices.

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