Apple has felt like an exclusive club for a long while now — its as though using their products grants you some techno-hipster seal of approval. But it’s beyond the status of a subculture, Apple fans and employees have even drawn (tongue-in-cheek) comparisons to religious cults.
Consumers’ interactions with ‘the big Apple’ aside, its no secret that the company has consciously made it extremely difficult for small, third-party companies to cash in on their success. Strictly regulating and limiting the compatible products for i-devices such as iPhone, iPod and now iPad, the company has recently found a new means of controlling the market, with their new Lightning power adapter.
Introduced alongside iPhone 5 in September, the eight-pin Lightning replaced Apple’s classic 30-pin adapter thats been in use since the dawn of iPod in 2003. So not shockingly, with the new power adapter, Apple has found a new way to monopolize their market and keep the sales of all new iPhone accessories to themselves.
This burdensome business model is precisely why POP charging station, an all-in-one gadget charging station had to refund every cent of their $139,170 amassed in a Kickstarter campaign. The project, orchestrated by designer James Siminoff set a goal of $50,000 and although reaching considerably above, Kickstarter will receive 5%, totaling over $11,000. So not only has Apple ‘fugazi’-ed a small company’s dreams, it is also now responsible for their loss of over ten grand.
“…we learned that they are no longer willing to approve a product that uses the Lightning charger alongside any other charge (including their own 30-pin — seriously),” said Siminoff. “Just like that, POP can no longer fulfill its true promise.”
Apple’s MFi (Made for iPhone, iPad and iPod) program is a series of standards put in place for outside companies to abide by when clearing an Apple-compatible product. This is of course completely regulated and supervised by Apple officials and all products that are submitted must pass the many guidelines before receiving that shiny seal of approval.
Its impressive how Apple continues to have such an intense hold over the gadget world, economically-speaking and most importantly, culturally speaking. The inclusivity that is attributed to Mac users can seem arrogant and even pretentious to those who feel uninterested. Doubtful that this will ever change and unfortunately small companies will continue to be the harshest affected by it.