Our big Monday announcement | iLounge Backstage

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Our big Monday announcement

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Thursday, January 19, 2006
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We originally created Backstage in part as a place to provide advance looks at new iLounge developments, but we’ve been quiet on that for a while. Today’s an exception.

On Monday, we’re going to be announcing a major but positive shift in the focus of our product reviews. We’ve been discussing some of the core ideas internally for a while, but our recent visits to CES and Macworld in San Francisco convinced us that change - big change - is necessary, right now.

The problem can be summed up like this: the iPod accessory market is currently being flooded with crap. Eight months or so ago, it became obvious to anyone with a pulse that the iPod was only going to keep on growing in popularity, and that there was a lot of money to be made in selling accessories. To capitalize on the iPod’s success, a number of overseas manufacturers began to mass-manufacture and commoditize everything from cases to cables, then moved to car and wall chargers, batteries and Bluetooth accessories. Most recently, the same companies have started to develop docks and speaker systems. As a consequence, the influx of me-too iPod accessories has become literally overwhelming. Apple announced in September that there were then over 1,000 iPod accessories available. Yesterday - four months later - the company said the number is now over 2,000.

There’s good and bad in this. The good: there’s a lot of competition, and simple iPod accessories can become very affordable. The bad: anyone who wants to become an “iPod accessory company” can do so virtually overnight, and consumers are today confronted by hundreds of choices, many of them poor. Even good iPod accessory manufacturers have acknowledged, in so many words, that the climate is now “buyer beware.” You, the reader, are the buyer. And there’s something very wrong from our perspective when buyers have to beware.

If we haven’t made the point well enough already, please know that iLounge’s editors are deeply devoted to our readers, in ways that we have not previously publicized. On Monday, we’re going to lay it all out for you and explain the “whats” and “whys” behind the steps we have taken, and will be taking. Stay tuned.

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Comments

1

good effort team…keep the bastards honest, or something to that effect. I look foward to Monday

Posted by Nuke666 on January 19, 2006 at 7:43 PM (PDT)

2

Looking forward.

Posted by papayaninja on January 19, 2006 at 7:55 PM (PDT)

3

The old saying “you get what you pay for” most definitely applies here. What we need are more companies like Tivoli (not and advertisement) when it comes to the hardware side of things. You pay more but the sound, o’ the glorious sound.

Posted by MerchMikey on January 20, 2006 at 5:58 AM (PDT)

4

What would be fantastic is a warning to avoid some companies (podguard.com)

Posted by Andrew on January 20, 2006 at 8:24 AM (PDT)

5

I’ll stay tuned. Maybe it’s like: What’s HOT and what’s NOT ;D
Anyway it’s usefull.

Posted by iDJ on January 20, 2006 at 3:54 PM (PDT)

6

well that’s great that you’ll be weeding out the not-so-hot, and of course I’m glad. But it has always been and will always be ‘buyer beware’ - that’s why any right thinking person does a bit of research before buying. And is why having you guys look out for us is so useful. But ‘caveat emptor’ is the name of the game. Nothing new there, no?
A

Posted by laughinggravy on January 21, 2006 at 7:29 AM (PDT)

7

I like Andrew’s idea of a podguard.com if it could be kept honest.

Posted by Orlando Pirate in Orlando, FL on January 23, 2006 at 6:56 PM (PDT)

If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.

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