Digital music is what has saved Apple. The concept of digital music, of MP3s, of being able to store vast amounts of music was all required for the iPod to become successful. I would say the majority of the exhibits at the expo were dedicated to iPod accessories.
These accessories can be divided into two major categories. Clothing for the iPod, and speakers for the iPod. By turning the iPod into a fashion accessory, Steve Jobs created a whole new market.
Most of the iPod cases were form fitting devices that would help protect the iPod from bumps and scrapes, while adding a bit of fashion individuality. That was the theory actually, but every other vendor had some type of rubber case for the iPod. Some claimed their silicone was better than rubber, one had a “cashmere rubber” since it was a soft touch material. Here are a few from the show. I didn’t include everyone, I’m sorry, but do you ever get the feeling that when you get lost, you always seem to pass by the same corner again and again? I got that feeling with all these iPod cases even though I wasn’t lost, no really.
One that stood out for me were these wraps from a North Carolina company, iFanatic. Their material allowed for control of the track wheel through their case. This would be the best type of protection, while not compromising function. They say they are working on their collection of teams.
My favorite case was the aluminum case from Matias. I feel that aluminum will actually protect the iPod more than rubber. In addition, when I asked them if the color was powdercoated or anodized, they knew immediately what I was talking about and without having to check with the guy in the back, they told me it was anodized. Anodized aluminum is much more chip and scratch resistant than paint or powdercoat. I bet this cost them a little more to make, but if you want the ultimate case for show and function, I’d get this one.