Apple has relaxed the licensing terms of its Lightning cable meaning that companies are now free to integrate a Lightning port with the legacy 30-pin dock connector, and other types of chargers.
Apple's decision appears to be related to the backlash caused by news that a Kickstarter-funded project called Pop Charger had been shut down because Apple wouldn't give the company a licence for the Lightning cable.
Apple reversed its decision the day after the news broke that Pop was refunding its investors with the $139,000 it had raised.
Project founder Jamie Siminoff wrote an email announcing: "Apple has revamped its Lightning adapter guidelines, and the POP device charger is now a go. The POP uses Apple’s own 30-pin interface as well as micro-USB for charging phones and tablets."
Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr told Ars Technica: "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."
The news opens the door for gadgets that can serve both new and old Apple gadgets. Apple is often criticized for its strict control of the iPad and iPhone ecosystem. News that Apple will allow Lightning cables to coexist on devices alongside its legacy 30-pin connector as well as micro-USB cables will no doubt be greeted with cheers by consumers who own a number of Apple products.
Pop Charger is a multi-device charger that will include micro USB cables for Android devices as well as Lightning cables for iOS devices, according to Gigaom.