The sheer number of iPod-related products launched at CES and Macworld is testament to the fact that Apple Computer’s portable music players continue to be eponymous in the marketplace. The Pod is everywhere, from Best Buy and Circuit City to high-priced boutiques, even to convenience stores. Everywhere you look, it seems, you can find something to complement your iPod.
“The bar has been raised,” said Brian Baucom, director of marketing for Digital Lifestyle Outfitters, a company that makes nothing but iPod gear.
A few years ago, such a company would have been hard-pressed to make a profit. Now, the sky’s the limit. The research firm NPD lists a figure of $850 million as the sales revenues for iPod accessories in 2005, and that doesn’t include Internet sales.
You can buy headphones, car integration kits, alarm clocks, armbands, video adapters, radio remotes, protection kits, cases, international travel chargers, and even a massage chair. The market continues to grow.
“Finding your way through the jungle of iPod accessories, cases and add-ons is difficult even for a techno-geek like me,” said Don Mayer, who owns a company called Small Dog, one of the many firms now cashing in on the iPod accessories market.
Sales of the music player itself continue to soar, buoyed by Apple’s continual update of iPod models (nano and shuffle come to mind) and of the hugely popular music download website-software combination known as iTunes.
Clearly, the iPod is here to stay, today anyway.