The iPod Ecosystem

By Jon Newton 1/15/06

The San Jose Mercury News calls it the iPod ecosystem, and that's what it is: a virtual cottage industry that's still evolving around the Apple music player.

"The iPod accessory world is now a multibillion-dollar industry," the Mercury News has Envisioneering Group's Richard Doherty saying. "He estimates $1 billion worth of accessories were sold during the recent holiday quarter alone, on everything from iPod protectors to speakers to car accessories."

But the relationship is also symbiotic.

Jon Newton

"Apple receives a licensing fee and royalties from companies whose products access the iPod port," the story goes on, "And even if the company does not receive direct payments, the more businesses that build creative accessories, the more desirable the iPods become."

Levi Strauss announced iPod RedWire DLX jeans and Chrysler says it'll be offering iPod-friendly gear as an option in most of its 2006.

"Gary Bart launched his iPod accessory company, XtremeMac, after reading the first Apple news release announcing the launch of its digital music player," says the Mercury News. "He quit his job at a Florida data storage company, quickly designed an iPod slip cover and set up a tiny booth at Macworld in January 2001. "We had people lined up four-across, 30-deep,'' Bart recalled.

Santa Clara machinist Joe Davis bought an iPod shuffle and made a tough, lightweight aluminum case for it and now Davis makes and sells about 2,000 colourful iPod cases every month.

Jason Entner has a line of, "boom-box purses, beach bags and courier pouches made of vinyl and canvas with built-in speakers," says the Mercury News.

"It's the iPod economy,'' declares Doherty. And Steve Jobs is its Alan Greenspan.

Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.

Other MP3 stories:
The Digital Media Winners of 2005
The Digital Media Losers of 2005


The 30GB iPod Video is available on Amazon


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