Accessories Firms Touch New iPods

By Lisa Johnston On Sep 17 2007 - 6:00am

The most recent iPod and iPod Touch introductions from Apple produced the inevitable onslaught of accessories introductions. Less than 24 hours after Apple's announcement, companies were assuring consumers that a variety of cases would be available to protect their purchases.

Compton, Calif.-based Belkin launched several cases designed specifically for the new Apple introductions, including the sport armband Plus. Constructed of the company's Coolmax material, it can be used with the Nano, the iPod Classic and the iPod Touch. It has a $29.99 suggested retail for all three cases.

Other cases from Belkin include a sport armband made of neoprene material, the Remix acrylic and metal cases, leather sleeves and folios, and a silicone case available in four colors. Prices range from $14.99 to $29.99.

Griffin Technology also unveiled a line of cases for the new iPods.

The iClear is billed as "all-over armor" for an iPod, while the Reflect case presents a mirrored face to the world until the device is activated and its screen shines through the metallic finish. Both cases — along with the rest of the cases in the line — are available for the iPod Classic, Nano or Touch.

The Elan Convertible leather flip-top case features a clear screen protector and microfiber lining. The flip cover can reverse for use as a stand, said the Nashville, Tenn.-based company. Also from the Elan family is the Elan Form — a hard-shell leather case with a polycarbonate inner shell.

Griffin's Streamline sport armband offers a washable, two-way adjustable band, and the Courier case is designed to wrap onto a backpack or shoulder bag strap. The Courier features a hidden zippered pocket and a second flapped pocket.

All cases features suggested retails ranging from $19.99 to $34.99 depending on model. They are scheduled to become available in October.

Zagg, which operates out of Salt Lake City, announced the InvisibleShield — lightweight, adhesive films available in both full-body and screen-only versions. The film applies directly to the device and provides "permanent protection," said the company in a release. The InvisibleShield comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Prices range from $9.95 to $24.95, and it is currently available.

iFrogz joined the pack with new introductions and provided TWICE with information about five cases for the latest iPods. The 3G Nanowrapz are constructed with silicone and can repel dust and lint, said the company. The 3G Nanotreadz are also made of silicone and includes a thick tread pattern for added shock protection. Both are designed for the newest iPod Nano.

Other cases include the 3G Tadpole Junior; with thick silicone and side handles, it engineered for children. For the iPod Touch, iFrogz introduced Touchwrapz, with reinforced side bumpers, and Touchtreadz, with thick tread pattern.

Pricing and availability were not ready at press time.

Otterbox said that it would be introducing two cases for the new iPods, as well as for the iPhone. The Level 2 case is semi-rugged, skin case, said the company, and the Level 3 is a "fully rugged, waterproof case." Pricing was not available, but the cases are scheduled to become available in October.

Designed for in-car use, Macally introduced the BTCup, a full-channel FM transmitter with a cup holder design that keeps an iPod upright in the car's cup holder. It also features integrated Bluetooth hands-free functionality to connect with Bluetooth-equipped mobile devices.

The device features a back-lit LCD display, auto-switching between phone mode and iPod mode for hands-free calling, an earphone and an in-line microphone. It is powered through the car's cigarette lighter and can be used with the iPod Classic and video-capable Nano, as well as a variety of previous-generation iPods.

Availability is scheduled for the fourth quarter for a $119 suggested retail.

iXoundWear said the company is designing "functional headware" for the third-generation Nano. The hats are geared toward "people who want to enjoy the use of their digital music player without the hassle of dangling wires."

The hats hold a Nano in a built-in compartment, and feature a sleeve for wires and a spool to keep them wrapped up. Hat choices include sports caps and running caps, and they will be offered in green, red, blue, white and black. With a $19.95 suggested retail, the caps are scheduled to be shipping Nov. 1.

iPhone users need not fear the new iPod introductions overshadowing their device. In the wake of Apple press conference earlier this month, Countour Design announced the release of the Showcase for the iPhone.

The Showcase features a hinged door and complete accessibility to all connections and controls, including the touch screen. Constructed of "shock-absorbing rubber and ultra-clear polycarbonate," the case/holster combination allows the iPhone to sit in it forward, backward, horizontal or vertical positions.

Currently available, the Showcase has a $34.95 suggested retail.

Also introduced for the iPhone is Cellet's black alloy hard-shell case. Featuring an aluminum construction, the case employs a click-swing door cover. Some assembly is required with the case, according to company — a screw-on hinge and detachable swivel clip is included. It has a $26.23 suggested retail and is currently available.

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