By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Apple did not announce any new iPod or iPhone models at Macworld this year, but that didn't matter to accessories manufacturers. Exhibitors at International CES and Macworld — both shows were held earlier this month — rolled out a host of cases, FM transmitters, chargers and miniature speakers for iPods, iPhones and other MP3 players.
Read below for some of the newest additions of cases, and see the sidebars on p. 100 and 102 for other iPod and iPhone accessories that were announced this month.
Atlantic displayed the IceBar2 at CES, which the company is billing as a breakthrough portable, shatterproof and waterproof speaker system compatible with all three generations of iPod Nanos. Users simply insert a Nano into the polycarbonate protective case, close the latch and enjoy the music worry free, said the company. The clear case features a click-wheel membrane so users can control the iPod while it's protected in the case. It weighs slightly more than half a pound, has a play time of approximately 16 hours on four alkaline batteries, and has a frequency range of 200Hz to 20KHz.
Included with the Ego IceBar2 is a buoy with strap, detachable flexible wrist strap, detachable hanging loop and four AAA alkaline batteries.
It has a $59.99 suggested retail and will be available in March.
Avenues in Leather, an authorized licensee of the Wenger and SwissGear by Wenger trademarks, announced a line of "for ladies only" Rhea models. The soft slip-in case and snap-closure, open-faced unit both feature a pink-based, colorful striped interior. The slipcase retails for $29.99 and the Rhea open case style is $34.99.
The Unisex line of all-over-black designed iPhone cases include a leather slipcase ($34.99), an open-faced molded case ($39.99) with full-swivel clip attachment, and an iPhone molded case with removable cover and full-swivel clip ($49.99).
All of the cases carry the Wenger/SwissGear logo and are currently available.
Belkin debuted six cases for iPods and the iPhone at CES. The sport armband, sport armband Plus with FastFit System, Remix Flip, formed leather case, and the Micro Grip case can be used with the Nano, Classic and Touch. Prices range from $19.99 to $29.99.
The other two cases, the travel case ($29.99) and the Slim Fit with a carabiner clip ($19.99), can be used only with the Nano.
H2O Audio announced that it is now shipping its iN3 waterproof case for the Nano. The iN3 is waterproof up to 10 feet, and it comes with the company's LatchTight locking enclosure that reportedly produces "uniform compression for a waterproof seal that will not open on impact," said the company. The SealTight Connector is compatible with standard 3.5m headphone plugs and reportedly provides complete watertight seal when used with the company's waterproof headphones (sold separately).
The iN3 comes with a sport armband and belt/gear clip. Currently available, it retails for a suggested $79.99.
The iH13 stereo sport case from iHome is designed for use with iPods and other MP3 players. It is water-resistant and features a sturdy, lightweight zippered case with two dynamic stereo speakers and built-in remote-control capability. Available in six colors — red, blue, black, silver, pink and green — the iH13 is currently available for a $49.99 suggested retail.
Incase debuted its first hard case for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The Slider case features internal rubber guardrails for impact and scratch resistance, a UV coating for further scratch resistance, external cutouts for all control features, and a bottom portion that slides away to charge the device in a dock. Available in black or white high-gloss finish, the Slider case retails for a suggested $34.95 and will be available in February.
Maxell announced that it had updated its line of skin cases. The P-20B skin cases for the third-generation Nano features the same shock-absorbing, durable design of the P-20, said the company, and it also comes with a four-pack variety of colors: clear, black, blue and pink. A neck strap and belt loop are also included.
The P-33, designed for the Touch, is available in black and comes with invisible cling-film screen shields that are engineered to protect the device from scratches.
The P-20B and P-33 have a suggested retail price of $24.99 and $19.99, respectively. Availability was not given at press time.
A variety of iPod and iPhone cases were debuted by mStation. The Mophie Knox is constructed of "aircraft-grade aluminum," said mStation, and features a "Play-Through" design and a money clip. It comes in black, pink, red or silver for a $40 suggested retail.
The Mophie Radura ($20) is made of clear polycarbonate that covers all scratch-able surfaces on the iPod, but conveniently leaves the click wheel and connections free, said the company. The latest version for the 80GB and 160GB Classic, and the third-generation Nano, comes with three rubberized and shock-resistant inserts that can be switched out at any time.
The Mophie Ratchet comes with a 360-degree belt clip and ships with a "frost-colored" Mophie Base Case, which is needed to use the Ratchet. The Ratchet is constructed of hard plastic and comes in either pink/black or gray/black. It has an $18 suggested retail.
Availability for these cases is scheduled for the first quarter of this year.
New from Speck Products is the ActiveFit armband. Constructed of breathable mesh material and an adjustable Velcro armband, the case comes with reflective material for added protection at night. It also has a sewn-in screen protector and a non-slip feature that means to protect the device during workouts. The armband tilts the player at a slight angle so that it's easier for the user to access during workouts or while running.
Available for the Nano and Classic in gray and white, the ActiveFit armband has a $29.95 suggested retail.
Speck also announced at International CES that it had expanded its iPhone case line. Previously available for the different iPod models, the new cases are now available for use with the iPhone. New additions include the SeeThru ($29.95), SkinPro ($24.95), ToughSkin ($29.95), TechStyle Classic leather ($34.95) and Holster-Pro ($29.95). All of these iPhone cases are currently available.
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