Makers of iPod accessories “got something of a scare during Apple CEO Steve Jobs’s Jan. 11 keynote at the Macworld confab in San Francisco. After unveiling a new, low-price version of the iPod, the iPod shuffle, Jobs also announced that his outfit would sell its own Apple-branded, $29 waterproof sport case — the first time it had offered any such product. What’s more, Jobs made a quick note of a ‘Made for iPod’ program, in which only authorized accessory makers would get the right to put Apple’s stamp of approval on their wares,” Peter Burrows reports for BusinessWeek.
“Fear not, iPod accessory makers. Rather than aggressively expanding into iPod accessories, Apple’s plan appears to be: keep the party going for its many partners. Besides the iPod shuffle sports case, it has no plans for a broader product rollout, says Executive Vice-President Phil Schiller,” Burrows reports.
“Schiller adds the Made for iPod program seeks to formalize how accessory makers work with Apple — while also preventing consumers from getting stuck with knockoff products that don’t perform as advertised. ‘We have worked hard on this market, to help developers design, market, and sell their products,’ he adds. ‘And that’s what we intend to keep doing,” Burrows reports. “That’s smart, says Tim Deal, an analyst with Technology Business Research. ‘When you consider that there are so many competitive alternatives to the iPod, it’s important for Apple to keep these accessory makers happy,’ he says. ‘It adds to the iPod’s viability as the digital-music standard.'”
Burrows reports, “Accessory makers that have been briefed about Apple’s plan say it will help more than hurt. While none revealed the exact details, Made for iPod is essentially a way to make sure all electronics accessories work properly with the iPod. It doesn’t apply to nontechnical products, such as cases or polishes. Those who agree to follow Apple’s technical specifications will be able to include a ‘Made for iPod’ logo on their packaging. The logo should start appearing on speakers, car adapters, power supplies, and other such gizmos within a few weeks.”
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