LAS VEGAS, CES 2012 — Four times bigger than last year, and now filling about half the massive north hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, the iLounge is home to an enormous plethora of iDevice accessories. I weaved and wandered through lanes of the iLounge pondering the products I was seeing, and out of all of what I found filling the massive space, these were the trends that stood out.
iPhone Photo Accessories Galore
iPhone cameras are taking over the world, and photo accessory manufacturers have definitely noticed. I love that I’m seeing tons of new iPhone-compatible lenses, tripods, filters, software, and more coming to market. You’re going to be able to have even more fun making great images on your iPhone and iPad in 2012.
Blinged-out iPhone cases
If you love your BeDazzled jean jacket and are looking for a matching case, you’re going to have a lot more options in 2012. For what can only be blamed on the proliferation of the Jersey Shore culture, a bunch of companies are going to offering blinged-out cases in the next year. If they make one with spinners, I’m buying it.
DOCKS DOCKS DOCKS!
There have never more kinds of iDevice speaker docks for you to rest your iPhone. Most are the smaller and cheaper kind, but there are also powerful, beautifully-crafted entertainment systems built around the iPhone now. You’re going to be hearing a lot more about the latter, especially from the Geneva company — their gorgeous docks are lust-worthy and have been gaining a lot of buzz in Europe.
An iPhone case for every man, woman, and child
The sheer quantity and variety of iPhone cases here at CES is mind boggling. There are cases for sporty people; cases for kids; cases for artists; cases with smooth textures; cases with rubbery textures; colorful cases; plain cases — I could continue!
The massive success of the iPhone has created an entire iPhone case industry, and manufacturers are now pumping out every kind of case you can imagine. In 2012, you’re going to have more case variety than ever.
You’ll never be without juice again
Our small Cult of Mac team here at CES has probably been given 15-20 iPhone and iPad charging doodads and cases. Everyone seems to be making them now, and many of them are fairly high quality. Expect to start seeing more and more iDevice charging accessories in 2012, many from manufacturers you’ve probably never heard of.
The Chinese want to build your next iAccessory
You probably figured your iPhone accessories were made in China; that’s not news. What surprised me here at CES, though, is just how many manufactures are filling the floors of the iLounge. They’re all ready to pump our your custom iCases to spec, or just slap your logo on the ones they’re already creating. I think the large number of Asian manufacturer booths in the iLounge at least partly accounts for the iLounge’s massive 4x growth from last year. In China, cases are big business.
The future of vehicles includes iDevice integration
In the year 2013, when we all live in neon-covered buildings in the sky and drive one-person vehicles through webs of tubes, it’s comforting to know that we’ll be able to keep our iPad 10s close at hand, even while commuting. This example future-vehicle includes integration for up to three iPads, ample futuristic-neon, and plenty of sound amplifying devices for transmitting polyphonic musical notes directly to your in-ear hearing apparatuses.