Every single tablet and smartphone that is not built by Apple uses micro or mini USB. This is a standard that the world’s gadget-makers actually got together and agreed on a while back. Apple has not only refused to follow this standard: It’s now actively being a dick about it.
There was a highly popular Kickstarter called POP that was going to be basically be a charging station for any phone or tablet. It was well-engineered and prettily designed, to boot. And then Apple squished it by telling the POP team that they won’t license their Lightning connector to anything that also has their equally backwards and stupid 30-pin connector. And anything that can also charge an Android phone? Hell no.
The POP team, to their credit, have chosen to refund the money, which means they’re eating around $11,000 in losses.
Why should you care? Because this kind of dong-waving is what results in having to own a dozen different chargers for a dozen different devices. Remember that? Remember what an enormous pain in the ass that was? Apple is basically trying to make it incredibly inconvenient and expensive for you to walk away from their product ecosystem once you buy an iPad or an iPhone, because apparently it is still the twentieth century in their minds.
Also keep in mind that this mentality in a company is never, ever good. It means they’re planning, in the future, to make it harder or even impossible for you to choose the technology you want and have it work with somebody else’s stuff. That’s not really a mindset that makes sense anymore, and Apple needs to let it go.
POP Update [Kickstarter]