The iPod Belt Buckle – Fashion or Faux-Pas?

We already know that wearable iPod accessories are going to be big this year. But which ones are worth covering, and which are just novelties? Today’s Backstage puts the question to you – comments are very much appreciated.

Late last September, we saw a prototype of the first iPod-related belt buckle (below), which Core Cases dropped by our Portable Media Expo booth to show off. As Core explained at the time, the idea was still under development, and the design wasn’t totally finished. The company initially planned to release the buckle without a belt, and let you attach it to whatever you preferred. We held on to the prototype, figuring that a changed final version would eventually appear – hopefully with a belt.

Last week, Core dropped off final samples of two different belt buckles – large and small sizes, each depicting the fourth-generation iPod. (The larger-screened 5G was introduced a week after we saw the first prototype, and we suspect that the changes weren’t significant enough in Core’s view to merit a redesign of the buckle.) Rather than using the earlier all-metal design, these new buckles (below) feature hard plastic white and gray iPods against a metal belt surface. They’re still not up on the company’s web site for sale.



Then there’s TuneBuckle ($50), which was announced at Macworld San Francisco, but was semi-lost in the (ahem) show floor shuffle. It’s a belt buckle that holds the iPod nano in a metal frame, providing access to its full face and headphone port. This one comes with a belt (ranging in size from 26 to 46) in either white or black colors. The top shot is from the company’s web site, the bottom is ours.



The show floor was abuzz with the claim that the TuneBuckle team created a white-belt version of the product specifically for Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and presented it to Apple representatives at the Expo. We also heard that the company is considering a second version that fully encases the nano. Of course, our questions were these: will people actually wear these belt buckles? Or are they just gimmicks? Do they merit further coverage on iLounge, or should they remain a part of Backstage?



One reader has already made the point that “if they had used a redneck with a beer gut for a model,” people wouldn’t think the idea was cool. We anxiously await your thoughts.

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