iLounge CES 2006 Coverage Index:
»Part I – Diamonds and Coal: Commentary and Expectations
»Part II – Early Announcements from Alpine, Belkin, Shure, and more!
»Part III – From the Show Floor
»Part IV – Follow the iPod & Showstoppers
» Part V – Show Floor Report Day 2
»Part VI – Hitch, and the Rest of the Show
Allsop: This new iPod accessory maker showed a collection of colorful new iPod cases, focused on the iPod nano.
Clarion: Like Kenwood (below), the aftermarket car stereo maker showed a huge variety of iPod-compatible head units, featuring on-screen display of iPod song text.
DreamGear: This new iPod accessory vendor is selling a collection of familiar Asian cases, speakers and electronic accessories under the iSound brand name.
Ion: If you haven’t heard of iPod accessory maker Ion before, we’re not surprised: the company is part of Numark’s corporate structure, and developed the iDJ mixing table for iPod. Ion is now selling iDJ itself, and has shown the iPA03 ($349), the first public announcement system with an iPod dock. It’s suggested as an alternative for athletic use, allowing phys ed teachers or trainers to connect their iPods up for an easy way to get a crowd jumping to music.
Kenwood: As noted in a prior CES report, Kenwood has added iPod support to a significant number of its aftermarket car stereos – a display with roughly ten iPod-compatible units was prominent at its booth.
Kinyo: This new iPod accessory maker was showing four or more different docking iPod speaker systems with interesting designs.
LG (Lucky-Goldstar): The Korean electronics giant was showing the iPod nano competitor JM53, which uses a candybar cellphone-style package to hold a video and music player.
In an interesting move, the player is rotated from horizontal to vertical orientation for menuing, and viewed with a wide screen for video playback.
Memphis Car Audio: Though the company was not selling any iPod accessories, Memphis Car Audio had equipped virtually its entire sales force with new fifth-generation iPods playing back the company’s corporate videos, as a promotional effort. Each iPod was being worn in a clear case on a lanyard necklace.
Monster: In addition to its established line of FM transmitters and cables, Monster has added iMusic 100, 300, and 500 earphones, which appear to be rebranded versions of Ultimate Ears’ recent super.fi Pro headsets (prices and availability not available), as well as iBumpers, rubber edge protectors for the iPod nano.
Motorola: Was showing the RAZR V3i and V3x. The V3i is the new iTunes-specific version of the well-known RAZR V3 that’s been popular for the last year, upgraded with a 1.3-Megapixel camera and the same iTunes client that we’ve already seen on Motorola’s ROKR E1. As noted in prior reports, V3i’s metal body now has a swirled, gunmetal look rather than the lighter anodized aluminum style of the V3, but the phone’s user interface remains very similar to past RAZRs and ROKR – unlike the newer, better interface of the ROKR E2, and the one on V3x. Motorola touts its video recording capability, voice recognition functionality, and built-in games as added benefits over the prior RAZR. Cingular has secured an exclusive on V3i in the United States.
V3x is the phone we’ve been excited about since its announcement last year. It’s a slightly thicker version of the RAZR, featuring an MicroSD card slot for music, a 2-Megapixel camera, an improved high-resolution interface similar to the one on ROKR E2, and videophone capability. Built for new 3G phone networks (but largely compatible with existing GSM ones), the V3x on display was Vodaphone branded for sale overseas. It looked great and was pretty responsive, but lacked the iTunes client – it played back MP3s though a Motorola music interface, and was compatible with Oakley’s new O RAZR, Thump 2-style sunglasses with audio playback and a microphone built in.
It’s also worth a brief note that Motorola showed three versions of its SLVR candy bar phone, L2, L6, and L7, graduating in thickness and/or features as the numbers ascend. The company’s Director of Global Marketing told us that despite all of the rumors to the contrary, none of the shipping versions of these SLVRs includes iTunes support, and that the company has been actively trying to shoot down claims to the contrary.
Precision Interface Electronics: The aftermarket car accessory company showed iPod integration kits called Digital iPod Interface for Ford, Honda, and Volkswagen vehicles, in some cases providing iPod text information on the cars’ existing stereos.
Roots: The famous Canadian clothier now has a series of iPod cases, including quite a few specific to the iPod nano.
Samsung: The Korean electronics company showed YP-Z5, an iPod nano competitor with 2 or 4GB of flash memory, a 1.8” LCD screen, and a highly dynamic, interesting user interface that used cool special effects.