Live From MacExpo 2005 in London

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Fresh back from this week’s MacExpo 2005 in London, U.K., iLounge Contributing Editor and Chief Forum Administrator Bob Levens has filed this report on what was hot and not at the show.

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As one of a collection of small Apple-focused exhibitions held across Europe, MacExpo ‘05 is a show big enough for Apple Computer to attend and exhibit at, but not a place to expect a Steve Jobs keynote speech or other major announcement. Olympia National Hall’s venue space is 1/2 or 1/3 the size of the annual Macworld Show in San Francisco, and can be covered almost entirely in a half day.

 

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Many of the industry’s big players were represented collectively by local distributors rather than through their own booths. Products we’ve already seen, such as Harman Kardon speakers, DLO and XtremeMac cases, and Oregon Scientific’s iBall, were on the floor – some available for sale to consumers at special Expo prices.

 

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Monitor Audio’s i-Deck made an appearance, this time with new optional speaker grilles in blue and pink (his and hers) colors, which the company is considering producing. A representative at the show also noted that i-Deck may be produced in black to meet recent post-iPod nano and post-iPod 5G demand for accessories in that color.

 

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Noted speaker maker Acoustic Energy (AE) was on hand with its AEGO speakers, a set of two zinc-cast satellites and a large floorstanding subwoofer. The system lacks for any iPod-specific components, but matches the classic white iPod coloration.

 

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Better Energy Systems, maker of the solar charger and battery pack Solio, was on hand with its Tread cases for iPods and Solio itself. Tread, a smart case made from recycled Colombian tires – and one which iLounge has previously covered – is still struggling to make its way through customs. The new green lensed version is the case solely for the Solio charger.

 

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PodGear showed both its larger speaker system HouseParty and its pocket-sized PocketParty nano, both with iPod nanos inside. It was the first public showing of the actual PocketParty nano, which was described with an image and press release at Apple Expo Paris.

 

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Companies such as Tivoli and Griffin were represented by local distributors, and like Apple Expo Paris were showing off updated versions of past products. Tivoli showed its updated line of PAL speaker/radio colors, while Griffin showed off its iFM radio receiver for iPods, with a Dock Connector instead of a headphone port connector.

 

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A-Partner also showed a nice-looking iPod nano silicone case, silky in texture and clean in design.

 

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And finally, Contour Design had final versions of its iSee case for iPod nano, mentioned in a news story today on iLounge. The hard case includes a detachable belt clip and protection for most of nano’s body, as well as a way to wrap your headphone cables around your neck as a poor man’s lanyard necklace.

All in all, this wasn’t a huge or exciting show, but it’s great to see more companies from Europe getting involved in the growth of the iPod. Our upcoming Week in Review podcast (#17) will narrate through the Expo, so please give it a listen if you’re interested. For more on European iPod-related shows, see our past report on Apple Expo Paris 2005.

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