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The SkyMall Index: measure the iPod ecosystem


If you fly, you know the airborne retail experience: the SkyMall catalog, sitting in the seat pouch, reminding you that you really should have brought something to read. The compilation of useful household products (fake rocks to cover unsightly yard objects!), kitschy health & gadget items, and clothing (Carabella Collection, which my wife refers to as "the slutty clothes catalog") also includes plenty of iPod-related gear. In an effort to avoid direct in-flight childcare responsibilities, I decided to audit the iPod appearances in the current SkyMall catalog and contrast them with the number of vintage prop Macs used to demo computer furniture, as a proxy for Apple's past.

iPod-compatible items advertised: 11, including chargers that support multiple devices but used an iPod in the catalog picture. Coolest: Icuiti iWear-1A video goggles.

Macs used as props: 6, with two current and four old. Most egregious old Mac prop: a tie, between a WallStreet PB G3 on a telescoping desk, and a rolling CPU stand that appeared to contain a Power Mac 8100 -- both sent a cold shiver down my spine.

The result: for the early spring 2007 Skymall Index, an iPod rating of 1.83 -- not bad! The iPod is easily the most visible single brand in the catalog, and shows up nearly as often as cellphones do. Now, I'd better get my order in for that pair of adult footie pajamas I've always coveted.

Thanks Heidi!

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