Apple Computer spawns ‘white, white world of the iPod economy’

“It’s the white, white world of the iPod economy, an exploding universe in which marketers such as Hewlett-Packard, Kate Spade, Bose and BMW are tapping into Apple’s portable music player to boost their own sales and brand equity… the iPod itself is just the beating heart of a growing body of marketing centered on the device,” Beth Snyder Bulik writes for Advertising Age.

“Not only is there an array of over 1,000 peripheral devices – from carrying cases to cables – devised to add to the MP3 player’s functionality, but big marketers with their own histories of ingenuity are lining up to ally themselves with the product, basking in the iPod’s marketing glow,” Bulik writes. “Not that Apple, which has encouraged most of the associations, is complaining. ‘Apple has spawned something very powerful. The iPod is not just a consumer-electronics device; it’s a cultural icon,’ said Michael Gartenberg, director of research at Jupiter Research. ‘And Apple understands that. By making strong associations with other very strong brands, it establishes the iPod as a platform, ultimately using that as a way to get the iPod experience into consumers’ hands.'”

Bulik writes, “The iPod is not the first great innovation from Apple, which introduced drag-and-drop computing and personal hand-held devices. It’s the marketing, and co-marketing, that are different. Apple seems to have figured out that part of having an iconic status means other marketers can and will ‘borrow’ brand equity, and it’s pre-empting at least some attempts by cutting its own co-branded deals. ‘It would be a mistake for people to think Apple is going to make the mistakes they’ve made in the past,’ said Mike McGuire, director of research at Gartner G2. ‘IPod is clearly now a crucial strategic part of the company. But they’ll be very careful about how they extend the brand going forward, and how they share that brand equity with others.'”

Full article here.


  1. Hmmm. Macs are criticised for a lack of software products (largely unjustified, I know).

    Could perhaps non iPod players be criticised for having no gadgets to plug them into ?

  2. They already are. I remember reading an article months ago that noted that the iPod, which started as an accessory, now has hundreds of accessories itself, while all the other mp3 players have none.

    It makes a difference to both consumers and retailers that the iPod is at the center of an emerging market of additional products/sales, while each of the other players is just a hunk of plastic.

  3. Anyone know of an alarm clock that you can plug an iPod into ? My wife needs to replace her shitty radio alarm. If nto, maybe there’s another accessory idea right there.

    Alarm clock with ipod dock, so you can wake up to your favourite tunes.

  4. OK, I see that more recent iPods than my 1st gen have an alarm already. I guess I could get her one and plug it into some speakers .. but the speakers would need to be on all the time.

    And I don’t think that there’s a snooze button !

  5. Now things are geting interesting. Someone on another forum has suggested using X-10 to gradually bring the lights up, controlled by a mac. Could also have an iPod connected to speakers switched on by another x-10 module. Or maybe use airtunes and the x-10 module.

    Still not so easy to switch off or snooze (I don’t know of an x-10 module taht you can send stuff back to the mac with), but would be pretty cool. Maybe more a project for than for my wife.

  6. Curious that as an example of non-iPod innovation from Apple, this article chooses to point to “drag-and-drop computing.” Surely that showed up in Windows 3.1 (in 1992), before Apple introduced its Drag Manager in System 7.5 (in 1994).

    Oh well, that’s modern journalism for you. The profession that brings you such bastions of integrity as Fox News and the British tabloids.

  7. Hmm, thats odd, most people I know (Mac Users) arent tech savvy at all, in fact you have to hold there hand just to wipe. I think people have generally accepted that Mac users are far less tech savvy, more attractive to the same sex and just plain inferior to the average PC user (Hense the “ease of use” touted by apple) Look at the old Apple logo…Ah yes, Taste the rainbow…

  8. “Hmm, thats odd, most people I know (Mac Users) arent tech savvy at all”

    Hmmmm. They seem to have been tech savvy enough to have chosen the superior computer platform! How much more tech savvy do you need to be? Game over.

  9. Well I can see all the other players uniting and getting the same accessory for their device. A sticker that will “Pay for sure”. That way they can brag about having the one accessory that the iPod doesn’t. Oh how oh how will the iPod survive without this one accessory. The lack of choice is so terrible, all these other devices will have the choice of having the Pays for Sure accessory sticker but the iPon won’t. It must be the demise of Apple.

    *please remove sarcastic tone now*

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