“Last year, Apple sold 32 million iPods, or one every second. But for every $3 spent on an iPod, at least $1 is spent on an accessory, estimates Steve Baker, an analyst for the NPD Group, a research firm. That works out to three or four additional purchases per iPod,” Damon Darlin reports for The New York Times. “That obviously makes accessory makers happy. It thrills retailers, whose profit margin on the accessories is much higher than on an iPod. And it delights Apple because the racks of add-ons made just for the iPod — 2,000 different items at last count — send a strong statement to consumers that the Apple player is far cooler than a Creative or Toshiba player, for which there are few accessories.”
“Sales of all those cases, car rechargers and docking stations totaled $850 million last year, Mr. Baker said, and that is not even counting Internet sales. Sales will easily soar well beyond $1 billion this year,” Darlin reports. “An entire ecosystem has emerged around the music player, introduced by Apple in October 2001. Other manufacturers had produced MP3 players earlier. But the simple design of the iPod, plus Apple’s iTunes store, quickly helped Apple to dominate the market. And that simple design — some might even call it bland — encouraged people to personalize the machine.”
“There are now more than twice as many iPod accessories as there were just last summer, according to Apple. And that number does not include the docking stations that will be available in 40 percent of cars sold in the United States this year,” Darlin reports. “Apple has encouraged a free-for-all, and its own share of the accessories market remains small. That will change. Apple is aware of the power of this market and is getting more active. Indeed, at the recent Macworld conference, Apple demonstrated that it wanted more of this lucrative field. It made a splash with an attachment, the $50 Radio Remote, that plays FM radio through the iPod.”
Full article here.
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