The iPod: a practical and portable digital music player launched in 2001, it revolutionised the music industry. As Apple’s designs are pure and simple, an entire ecosystem has emerged from this gadget. Despite the existence of other MP3 devices, such as Toshiba and Creative, the global and commercial appeal of the iPod convinces consumers to favour Apple over other brands. Selling 32 million iPods per second last year and with over 2000 different Apple items available, iPod add-ons have become a billion dollar business. Initially, iPod accessories consisted of colourful socks. However now, their domination of the market has created a large leeway for individuals to personalise their products and companies have become increasingly innovative with iPod accessories. According to the NPD research analyst, Steve Baker, for every $3 spent on an iPod, $1 goes towards accessorising it. “For us it’s great because the decision to buy an iPod is reinforced when consumers see all the accessories,” commented Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president for worldwide iPod marketing.
Exceptional concepts and extraordinary inventions have been designed for the iPod. Dedicated to improve it, companies like Logitech, Kensington, Griffin and Xtreme Accessories diligently invent electronics to enhance its functions and battery power. The iHome clock radio and Nike + iPod Sensor further facilitate its use, whilst cars, prams, hats and even bras can now accommodate this gadget. .
28 percent of the accessories are cases and their prices range from an $8 million Diamond Rose case designed by by Stuart Hughes to a $1 plastic cover. The iPod economy is also widely successful because unlike the computer, their accessories are not limited to places like Circuit City or Best Buy.
Retailers love the accessories business; they are another key cause for the booming iPod economy. Almost every fashion retailler, from Primark to Prada, stocks one. Thus, retailers must compete against each other and Apple’s own retail outlets. Friction ensues- their necessity to stock one and the profit made out of it generates “a love-hate relationship with iPod,” explains Rob Humphrey, director of marketing for Kensington.
What’s more, start-ups dedicated soley to the iPod have been popping up everywhere. Brands by the likes of Case-Mate, Uncommon, Speck and Iconemesis strive to provide their clients with the most exclusive and unique range of fashionable designs. They cater to a to a young, cosmopolitan and modern generation of individuals who aspire to be as stylish and quirky as possible. Spoilt for choice: bloggers, hipsters and posers alike are provided with the perfect opportunity to accessorize their iPods and assert their identity with the aid of these cases. By collaborating with cutting-edge artists and fashion retailers have further increased the saleability these products to the mass market. 160grams Magazine was lucky enough to catch up with the London based brand Iconemesis who took a few moments to share their opinions on their iPhone 3 and 4/4 case designs:
How and when did you generate the concept for Iconemesis?
The idea behind Iconemesis was generated in December 2009, mainly to have the freedom to express ones style and interest in art on their iPhone case.
What would you deem the most successful aspects of your company?
Our collaborations with the designers.
Who are and would be your ideal client(s)? Do you have a target audience and customers?
We target a female audience, fashionistas aged between 16-34yrs old.
What is your opinion on the current relationship between design and technology?
Design is a great way to add fun to everyday lifestyle and the relationship with technology is a growing trend, which we believe will continue to evolve in the foreseeable future.
Iconemesis has been featured on several fashion blogs, do you feel this a good platform to promote your company?
Blogs offer us the opportunity to reach out to our target audience. We have generally received a great reaction from bloggers, which helps advertise Iconemesis a great deal.
Which is the most popular out if the Ipod covers you stock?
Our teacup case by Fifi Lapin.
How did you decide which artists to collaborate with?
We go through a lot of platforms online like behance, design inspiration and various design agencies. We also use social media like twitter and facebook, Leah Goren for instance was spotted via tumblr. Etsy are great places too as there are great designers there. Also fashion magazines such as Elle and Vogue, where Fifi Lapin has been featured.
Where artists given a brief or where they given as much artistic licence and creativity as they wished?
We mainly use existing designs by the designers that appeals to our audience.
Do plan to get more fine artists to create covers for Iconemesis?
Yes, we are always looking out for exciting and new designers to collaborate with.
How do you balance the strong design and marketing of your company given the multitude of collaborations Iconemesis has with fine and graphic artists?
One of the challenging issues is the design base we have. Each design is unique which we hope will appeal to different people and this is reflected by various bloggers who feature the different designs.
Given the global technological speed and advancements, what makes Iconemesis unique?
Our collaboration with the designers and the range of designs we offer which are only available from us.
Do you have plans to increase or expand on the products of Iconemesis? Are there any aspects of this company that you plan to develop and strengthen?
Yes we are currently preparing for the launch of the new iPhone 5 and are exploring other devices that we may add in the future.
Which part of the world do you view as the most successful at them moment for emerging talents and artistic design?
The UK, without a doubt.
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To view the designs of Iconemesis please visit:
Facts and figures obtained from:
Darlin, D. 2006. The iPod Ecosystem, The New York Times Online, [online]. Available at: <http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/03/technology/03ipod.html?pagewanted=all
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