Are ‘Appcessories’ Headed to the Apple Store?

Are ‘Appcessories’ Headed to the Apple Store?

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Appcessories. Just the word sounds cool, blending the popularity of apps with the omnipresent accessories for your Apple device. But can a word create a trend? You decide. The idea is being promoted by a hardware developer that iPhone apps controlling hardware devices could be as big as that watermelon-flavored case or the Nike+ iPod add-on. Indeed, the Apple Store could feature the category soon – or not.

“Appcessories are going to play a significant role in the future of smartphones and applications,” Jawbone vice president Bandar Antabi, tells gadget blog T3. He believes “more and more companies” will integrate apps with accessories and hardware to enhance smartphone use. Additionally, he suggest “there is a lot of motivation for retailers” to create appcessory sections” at their stores.

Uh-huh.

Turns out, while pretty bizarre sounding, the term “appcessory” has been around for a while – at least since mid-2010. The North Carolina firm New Potato seems to have coined the word to describe its iPhone charging dock that also behaves like a one-armed bandit. Prior to that, the company also sold a device that turns your iPhone into a remote control. Why anyone would want to convert a $200 smartphone into a $20 channel changer, is beyond me, but it proves there is precedent for such a category of Apple products.

Of course, what the Jawbone exec wants to highlight is the upcoming release of its health monitoring app that connects to the iPhone.

While the company would love to promote its products, there does not appear to be any evidence Antabi has an inside track on Apple’s retail plans. So, will we see more “appcessories” linking the iPhone, iPod or iPad? Maybe. Will Apple be rushing to promote the category? Not likely anytime soon.

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  • Ryszard

    Hate the term, but in a round-about-way, he is right. The only difference being, that it will be made possible/feasibly by the new Bluetooth 4 specification (which is already built into the iPhone 4s.

  • CharliK

    Someone is a bit behind

    not only are there already many of these appcessories, they have been in apple stores for ages and they are actually congregated in a whole bay of shelving in the stores. as well as many of them being featured in Apple’s Holiday Gift Guide in stores, in the Store app and online. 

    there’s the disney cars app mates, the jawbone up, the iGrill, at least two different blood pressure cuffs, a baby room video cam, a ‘smart’ weight scale for your dieting resolution an iOS RC toy Ferrari and so on.

  • Jpullen1

    He is correct. Apple is already carrying the products and will continue to grow this section. Best Buy already has a section in the mobile area. Target is already showing an encap and more are going inline. Yes Apple is pushing this category on a WW basis with support to/from retailers. Apple has dedicated resources for this category.

  • Connor Mulcahey

    Another Ex: Griffin Beacon

  • Scott Ronan

    The Lego appcessorie is pretty cool too

  • twitter-119563679

    > Why anyone would want to convert a $200 smartphone into a $20 channel changer?

    Because you can make it have a better user interface.

  • Brian Dieckman

    “Why anyone would want to convert a $200 smartphone into a $20 channel changer?”

    Have you seen the offerings of programmable remote controls? They are WAY more expensive than $200 and are nearly impossible to use. A well-designed application for building a custom interface for IR use is #1 on my list for my iPod touch.

About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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