Apple’s Ugly Boombox & Fetish Cases

The first couple of products from Apple's hotly anticipated launch are 1. boring and 2. preposterous.

As anticipated ‘Fun New Things’ turned out to be just that: fun stuff, but nothing particularly exciting (unless you have a leather iPod fetish, in which case you’re currently engaged in something very private). Here’s what iPod lovers had to get excited about…


For a company as famous for its style as its innovation it seems Apple has consulted Volvo about its long anticipated speaker system. With all the finesse of an oversized board rubber, the monstrous ‘iPod HiFi’ does little visually to set the pulses racing.

That said, it does have two 80mm mid range drivers held in sealed acoustic suspension and a 130mm dual voice coil woofer with a ported bass reflex design (help me out here Spode?), while the seal resin enclosure means it shouldn’t vibrate.

Despite being a whole lot less than portable (43.2 x 16.8 x 17.5cm), the iPod Hi-Fi can run off six D-cell batteries (not included) as well as AC power and there’s a bundled remote. Of course it doesn’t come cheap at £249 (more than most iPods), but that probably won’t stop it from putting many third party accessory makers in the poor house.

Personally speaking I see nothing here that suggests I made a mistake two years ago in buying a decoder, hooking it up to my 7.1 speakers and plugging my iPod into that…


Following up the HiFi was a rather preposterous set of leather cases which Apple claims help to stop your iPods from scratching. Of course, it would be a better idea to simply make players that were more scratch resistance out of the box, but then that would stop Apple charging a mind boggling £69 a piece for the nano, 30GB and 60GB designs (yes, I thought the nano case might be slightly cheaper too). If my anti-case rant doesn’t strike home now, it never will…

Apple UK

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