Technology is no longer stand alone innovations. When Apple releases IPOD variations or innovations, it energizes many different corporations. They design and market accessories like cases, rechargers, car adaptors, docking stations and more.
It is like a tango as and when Apple introduces temptations many satellite industries gear up to simultaneously make available for the consumer accessories. In fact analysis by NPD group reveals that for every US$3 million spent on IPODS a minimum of US$ 1 million is spent on accessories.
A whole chain has been created. There are accessory makers, designers, advertisers, marketing gurus, and retailers. And for most, accessories fill the till better than the IPODs themselves as profit margins are greater. It is not a one way street where satellite industries reap all the goodies. With racks filled with add-ons for IPODS, marketing campaigns, reviews, and demos Apple benefits by the creation of the “ultimate” image of greatness. The eco system creates a hype placing Apples IPOD as the “coolest” ever.
The range is huge, from simple cases priced from US$10-US$200 to speakers, transmitters, docking stations, baby strollers with a specialized slot for the IPOD, a belt with a buckle designed as an IPOD holder. For those with money to spend there are massage chairs with an IPOD holder in the armrest, customized speakers with glowing tubes and see through panels, as well as boom boxes.
As far as businesses are concerned it is a complete phenomenon with one small product leading to the creation of a whole industry or world. Unlike past successes like superman or Barbie dolls or the success of Disney land Apple has refrained from offering “complete” packages themselves. The accessory manufacturing remains small.
The business model or plan until now was not the creation of a single entity or exclusive partnership but an open system where many industries can vie for a slice of the Apple “gold dust”. But the balance is shifting and Apple is offering options like “Made for IPOD” logos in return for a royalty.
IPOD has not just inspired accessories but changes in simple things like clocks with snooze mechanisms. Now such clocks have been modified so that they can be easily paired with the IPOD. Then there are headphones, ear phones, beach bags, as well as clothes with IPOD pockets. Now in 2006 cars will be sold with IPOD facilities. The IPOD world seems to expand and there are no signs of slowing down at all.
The IPOD ecosystem is fast growing and is a multibillion dollar industry world wide. No one would have dreamed that a simple no frills digital player would spawn entrepreneurs world wide and since the “Bata” module the Apple IPOD has taken the center stage to create a business model where along with Apple thousand others taste sweet success.