New iPod Reactions: Accessory Makers and an Author
We recently sent out an email to various accessory makers asking them for their initial reactions to the release of new iPods, how it affects their product line and when they expect to have revised accessories ready for their customers.
Julie Lee, Marketing Director
We were a little sad to see the buttons moved from around the scroll wheel
but overall we love the slimmer design. We also like the idea of the docking
station. We feel that Apple has made substantial design improvements and
think that the new iPod will be a bigger hit than the first.
Since iSkin products are custom molded to fit the iPods, the new design does
send us back to the drawing board. But this is what makes iSkin unique. It’s
made for the product you want to protect and no other. Learning from our
previous design, we are confident that the next generation of iSkin iPod
protectors will be exceptional, bringing with it improvements that our customers
have demanded. We will continue to sell existing iSkin Protectors for the
many original iPod owners.
Making an excellent product takes time. We cannot officially comment on when
the new case will be available but we do plan to do the best job we can in
as little time as possible.
[Added: 05|07|03 8:20 AM]
Chris Maddox, Business Unit Manager, Mobility
Size matters, & having the smallest enclosure and the largest storage capacity (30GB) is a huge advantage. The iPOD continues to set the standard for portable media devices; great design, great functionality. I like the added ease of the new buttons as well.
Apple designed the new iPOD with a much more sophisticated dock connector, allowing more "cool" accessories to be produced for it. For example, our car charger has a unique audio pass through allowing you to use our Cassette Adapter or TuneCast while you charge.
Some are online now and still more cool designs are to come. Continue to check our website & press releases for more information.
Wayne Calco, Principal
I love them with all my heart. slimmer, lighter and more capacity!
We are offering an upgrade kit to allow all the new iPods models to work in both the Secure and the regular Habitat products. When can customers expect updated cases/products?
We will have a press release in the coming weeks to announce HabitatA PlusA an additional product from us that is geared specifically to the new iPods and will charge as well as organize with a couple of very exciting surprises! Remember Dennis, we strive to offer the very best solution for iPod organization and single handed operation!
Chally Micro Solutions
Mark Chally, PodPod Project Manager
The added features of the new line of iPods will make it an even bigger hit. As the popularity of the PodPod suggests, the iPod was incomplete without the Dock—a nice solution for charging overnight and wherever it’s most convenient to keep it. We also like the expanded software extras and the rounded bezel.
We will make a definitive compatibility statement when the new iPods have become available for inspection. However, we have reviewed the specifications of the new iPods, and we believe the PodPod continues to make a splendid enhancement for all iPods Apple has manufactured, including those most recently announced. We expect a continued demand for PodPods, since iPod users still desire an elegant, clutter-free easel at their desks at home or at the office, on their stereo cabinets, night stands or anywhere else they display or listen to their iPods.
We do not expect PodPod to require an update for compatibility with the newest line of iPods. We believe the current design remains optimal both practically and aesthetically. Regardless, we are researching some design enhancements unrelated to the Apple announcement, in addition to possible new colors and related products.
Chris Charyk, Managing Director for Media and Macintosh products
The new iPods look to be great products, consistent with Apple’s long standing approach to continual innovation.
The response to our iSee case has been tremendous. There are an enormous number of "first generation" iPods out there, and we look forward to providing these users with a stylish, practical and cost-effective case. Based on feedback we have received from our users, we are currently looking at several possible modifications to the current case design. Should we decide to release a new version of the iSee for "3rd generation" iPods, we will announce our plans sometime in May.
We are currently working with several exciting new design ideas based on the specs of the new iPods. Due to the fact that there is a new size, and a dock, there are several design issues that we need to creatively address. We will announce any plans we have for new iSee products sometime in May.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters
Jeff Grady, President/CEO
Our company makes products for other MP3 players as well as PDAs, and we
keep the latest and greatest stuff in our offices at all times. The iPod is
the hands down best MP3 player on the market. We really like to juxtapose
the iPod with both the Archos Jukebox and the Creative Zen, and we did this
the minute we got our new iPods. There is no comparison. The new iPod is
smaller, sleeker, lighter and easier to use than any other jukebox on the
market. And (for now) it has the greatest storage capacity of any jukebox
on the market. The iPod is a really tough act to follow!
We really think Apple did a great job when they rounded off the hard edges
on the front of the iPod. It feels a lot better in your hand now. And the
weight and size differences are significant and easily noticeable the first
time you pick up a new iPod. While I kind of miss the old scroll wheel
design, the new control interface works extremely well, and makes for very
sleek control surface.
Our favorite part of the new iPod is the included docking base. This thing
is great. Docking the iPod just got a whole lot easier. No more fiddling
with thick, rigid FireWire cables and it has an auxiliary audio out jack to
boot. This makes it really easy to use an mini-plug to RCA Y splitter to
hook the iPod up to your home stereo.
But in our opinion, the new port connector is the most significant advance
in the new iPod. You can look to see DLO develop some very unique products
that take advantage of what this port has to offer. In fact, our second
generation TransPod will definitely be taking advantage of this port.
[Added: 05|07|03 9:49 PM]
Andrew Greene, VP Marketing
A beautiful evolution of a product that is probably the ‘tip of the iceberg’
for the iPods and the iTunes Music Store. Together, they are showing the
potential to dramatically revolutionize the entire music industry as we know
Griffin has begun and will continue to develop one of a kind and unique
products for the iPods that add value and sometimes completely re-invent a
users iPod for all kinds of purposes.
Griffin currently has the ONLY iPod car charger compatible with ALL iPods -
including the new design. Compatibility revisions to all other existing iPod
products can be expected very soon.
Current Griffin iPod products include:
- iTrip FM Transmitter for the iPod
- PowerPod Auto Charger - the only car charger compatible with ALL iPods
- iPod Home Connection Kit
- iFM FM Radio for the iPod (due late summer)
- PowerWave Desktop Amplifier for the iPod
Ed Martin, CEO
We are pleased to see Apple’s continued effort to improve the iPod. The new charging station is certainly a convenient feature, as are the touch-sensitive, backlit buttons.
We have redesigned all of our cases to custom fit the new iPods. Pictures of the new products will be up on our web site starting on Saturday, May 3rd and stock will be available within two weeks or sooner. Of course, we will continue to carry cases for the original iPod models as well.
Vesna Vojnic, Marketing Manager
I want one! I think it was very smart of Apple to adopt USB 2.0 and have it backward compatible with USB1.1. This will open them up to a much broader PC market.
We have revised the iPod Armor case design to work with the new iPods. The new cases are scheduled to ship this Friday (May 9, 2003).
We’ve also remedied a few things from the previous version:
- The new case is easier to open and close.
- It is now easier to remove the iPod from the case. This is important for recharging since the iPod needs to be placed in the dock to recharge.
- The new case offers a little more padding than the old and also protects the new universal connector.
[Updated: 05|06|03 11:06 AM]
Christopher Anderson, President and CEO
The innovation that comes out of Cupertino is nothing short of amazing. It’s hard to believe that Apple could make iPod better, but with the 3rd generation iPod, they have definitely made some great improvements to an already amazing product. The rounded edges are a very nice adjustment, as is the smaller size. Borrowing one of the 17” PowerBook features and implementing the backlight effect is also really cool. I have to admit the Dock is an awesome accessory, too; it is a welcome addition for any new iPod owner, especially for the sync capability. The only thing that I’m not too sure of with the new iPod is the menu bottoms being moved up higher. I think it would be a tough transition to go from the great proximity of the wheel and buttonsyou have with the 1st and 2nd generation iPods to the new layout in this latest edition; however, I’m sure that after a few days of re-learning, you simply adjust.
We haven’t physically handled the new iPod or any of it’s accessories as of yet, but we do know that based on the specifications of the new iPod, we will not have to make any modifications or changes to our current product. PodHolder has been on the market since last December, and we’ve had a tremendous response thus far. It will continue to be a great solution for those that want a simple, elegant solution for supporting iPod while they listen to it at work, anywhere throughout their home, or wherever they go. Our customers use PodHolder on their desks, kitchen tables, coffee tables,and within their audio equipment setup, hooked into their stereos. Those that still have the older model iPods - i.e. those that can’t use the new Dock - will continue to be our leading customers. In fact, we’re excited forfolks that are new iPod enthusiasts, coming on board within the last week after getting a great deal on one of the older generation models from the retailers clearing them out, as they make room for the new models.
We have ideas we are contemplating for improving the existing PodHolder design, as well as numerous new concepts and ideas that will benefit all generations of iPod. We’re really excited about the things we’re coming up with, and hope to have a few of these products in the manufacturing phase soon!
[Added: 05|08|03 10:41 AM]
Larry Nixon, Owner
I prefer the current look, the sleek design with only the selection wheel and center button.
It has been my experience selling the PodStand that people use their iPod at work and at home. I would expect them to continue to want a stand for their work. The current design of the podstand will be compatible with the new iPod.
I will not be redesigning the podstand.
SoftWare & Things
Patrick Huveldt, Owner
Im not sure if I like the four buttons that replace many of the functions of the wheel. This lay out, of the control buttons make for problems in designing a case that not only looks good, but provides a proper fit, at the same time providing some basic protection. At the same time giving the user access to the control interface on the iPOD without having to remove a cover or removing the iPOD from the case.
This makes my present product line for the iPod out of date. We are working on the new design for the new and slimmer iPods. In two to four weeks, we should have samples of our new products.
Tim Hickman, CEO
We’re REALLY excited by it. We’ve been expecting this and have been working on new designs for the last couple week. We should be announcing two new case designs for the new iPods later today. I’ll definitely forward you this info as soon as I can.
We think the iPod economy needed this badly. The market seemed to enjoy a boost around MacWorld, but overall retail sales of iPods have slowed. Apple’s new introduction should provide a healthy does of adrenaline!
For most accessories players, this announcement does present a big challenge since the 1st generation cases won’t work. From our viewpoint, it levels the playing field among the accessory players and allows folks like us who were not early in entering this market, to compete on even playing field. Having our own Industrial Design, Mechanical Engineering, and Consumer Packaging Design in-house lets us move fast. We have three products in production for the new iPods and plan on having 5 - 6 available by Summer. Some of our new stuff goes well beyond cases and will blow you away! I think this move gives us a solid chance to become the dominant accessories player and provide consumers with really innovative products to compliment their accessories.
Federico Fiocchini, Marketing Dept.
We’re working on the design of the new iPod [case], we’re releasing the cases
(Classic and I-Volution models) in a short time… approximately 20 days.
[Added: 05|12|03 10:24 PM]
Gary Waterfield, CEO
Apple really has a way of making a great product even better. They’ve made it smaller and lighter with greater capacity than before. And with USB support, it should appeal to a wider audience.
Cases for iPods are a big focus for WaterField Designs. I personally love the iPod so it’s not hard for me to focus on creating great cases for them. In fact, we’re just about ready to start shipping our redesigned cases for the new iPod. Unlike most iPod case companies, our design and manufacturing are done in the US (in San Francisco—not too far from Apple headquarters), so we can design and manufacture products and get them out to our waiting customers quickly.
Gary Bart, CEO
As always Apple out does itself with each and every revision. Just when you thought the iPod could not get any better, Apple introduces the next generation of MP3 players. The iPod’s slimmer design and sleek rounded corners make the iPod impossible to resist. The new menu buttons allow for easy and quick manipulation of the ipod features.
As if that was not enough, the iPod dock is perfect for those who use their iPod in the work and home environments. The possibilities seem endless now for iPod’s use. Its no longer just a music player; its a necessity.
XtremeMac has already begun the designing stages for our new cases. Like the new iPod, XtremeMac’s next generation case will blow users away with our new design, capabilities, and choices of material. In fact, the iPod’s new design lends itself to sleeker and more elegant case solutions. We anticipate new cases hitting the market in just a matter of weeks. For now, our current case styles can act as a temporary home without damage to the iPod, until the new cases come out.
XtremeMac simple mission has always been to provide Apple Computer customers with the finest accessories and products that enhance their digital lifestyles. The XtremeMac team is dedicated to designing, manufacturing, and delivering products of outstanding form, function, and quality.
When the new iPods were announced we were Xtremely excited about the ideas for new accessories. Yes, we will be manufacturing a new iPod car charger for the new iPod; yes, our RCA, Male to Male, and Male to Female cables will be even more practical given the capabilities of the new dock. But that is just the beginning. Within the next few weeks, customers of the new iPod will see new XtremeMac iPod accessories that will utilize their iPods in ways they never imagined!
And last but not least we asked well known author
Chris Breen, author of
Secrets of the iPod to give us his reactions to the new iPod.
I’m keen on the new iPods. Apple did a lot of the right things with the new model.
The ability to put more and better sounding songs on your iPod thanks to support for AAC encoding is a real boon.
They look and feel good too. I had the opportunity to dink around with one of the new iPods after the press event and it feels very nice in your hand. I never thought I’d describe the old iPods as "clunky" but they’re nowhere as sleek as the new models.
Placing the data port on the bottom of the iPod is a nice idea too. That open FireWire port/covered FireWire port on the top of the old iPod was a little inelegant.
The Dock is a good addition as well. I use a BookEndz dock that has FireWire and audio ports with my current iPod and find it quite convenient except for the fact that you have to mount the iPod upside down. The new Dock’s design makes a lot of sense and will be a real help to those who routinely plug their iPods into their home stereos.
The backlighting stuff—the glowing buttons—is kind of gimmicky, but it looks very cool.
I do wish that Apple had found a way to provide older iPods with the same software capabilities found in the new models—the On-the-Go menu functions and ability to customize menus. And it would have been nice if they’d kept a 5GB model and priced it at $199. Okay, and having to carry (and possibly lose) a proprietary data cable is the tiniest bit inconvenient. I completely understand the decision to create a data connector that accommodates both FireWire and USB 2.0 (really, it’s a brilliant design) but I can foresee more than a few folks winding up purchasing replacement cables.
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