Well, I'll tell ya. I had my doubts about this when you asked, because I have tried it before and it didn't work with other devices. So after thinking a bit and noting the response, I checked with a hub I have, a little 4 port Belkin, and it worked...got the lighting, and with other things the battery icon filling up.
I firmly believe that a hub can be designed to not provide power to ports if there is A) no data connection on the input side, and/or B) no data connection on the output side. Maybe what you tried is so designed.
For reference the one I have that does work is an F5U234