Saturday, August 6, 2011

Kickstarter breathes fresh air into the stale iOS accessory industry

Kickstarter breathes fresh air into the stale iOS accessory industry -

Where do you look for iPhone and iPad accessories? Your local Best Buy? The online Apple Store? There are lots of places to look, but one destination in particular has become my go-to spot for accessory browsing: Kickstarter.

The crowd-funding site, which invites users to invest in various projects with small sum “pledges” that only have to be paid if a project reaches its funding goal, is a breath of fresh air for a jaded iDevice accessory shopper like myself. And Kickstarter projects associated with Apple hardware seem to have a knack for doing well, both on the site and after achieving funding. Dan Provost, co-designer of the Glif and the Cosmonaut (both listed below), shared with me his opinion of why Kickstarter has prompted so many interesting Apple-related projects:

To a smaller degree, the influx of Apple accessories on Kickstarter has mirrored the deluge of apps into the App Store back in 2008. Apple has created an amazing tool in the iPhone, and people are excited to build things for it. Apple enabled individuals to publish software on the iPhone in 2008 with the opening of the App Store, and it seems Kickstarter has created that same enthusiasm for hardware.

Considering how many Apple accessories currently populate Kickstarter (a lot), and the frequency with which they appear (very often), I’d agree. Here’s a look at some of the best iPhone, iPod and iPad-related projects Kickstarter has brought us so far.

1. TikTok + LunaTik

Apple’s iPod line has been overshadowed by the iPhone and iPad for quite some time now, but that didn’t stop the bite-sized music player it unveiled last fall from sparking the imaginations of many an accessory maker. Designer Scott Wilson was one of those who saw great potential in the 2010 iPod nano, and he came up with something that fits seamlessly with Apple’s own minimalist sensibilities.

Wilson created the TikTok and LunaTik, two watchband accessories for the iPod nano, based on the idea that users would be willing to pay more for a quality product, instead of just spending only a little bit of money on the nano straps rushed out the door by the usual suspects. The TikTok and LunaTike proved he was right, raising nearly $1 million on Kickstarter, before eventually finding a place on Apple Store retail shelves. The TikTok retails for $39.95, and the LunaTik is $79.95

(Via TheAppleBlog.)

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