No one talks much about it, but Apple’s products, especially the iPhone, have a growing cottage industry of add-on accessories. They differ from Mac to iPhone, yes, but there is an obvious similarity.
Money. The price of a new Mac is different than the cost of owning a Mac. Likewise, the price of an iPhone does not include the ongoing cost of usage; either the monthly cellphone data plan, or the add-on accessories that help us customize our device. What are the best accessories for Mac and iPhone? Here’s my list.
Pay More To The Piper
At first it might seem as if the Mac doesn’t have the same need for add-on accessories– hardware, not software– as the iPhone. After all, iPhone users can choose from a gazillion cases in every style and size and color and material you can think of– from silicone to plastic to leather– even Minny Mouse ears. What does the Mac get?
Remarkably, there are cases, or rather, covers for the Mac; silicon-like, of course, that fit over the Mac notebook’s lid. There are covers for the keyboard. There’s a whole cottage industry of stickers just for the back of the Mac’s screen. And that’s just the cosmetic side. Hardware can be utilitarian, too, and that means extra disk drives for backing up or cloning a Mac’s content.
What else? Cables. You can never have too many cables and it seems as if every few years there are new cables to buy. USB 2 and 3. USB-C (not to mention the other side of the cable). There’s Thunderbolt cables. Lightning cables. HDMI cables. Many Mac notebook users also have sleeves or small carrying cases designed for a specific Mac model.
Along with a variety of mice and keyboards, there are external displays, display mounts, headphones and earbuds, all of which help to grow the ongoing cost of ownership of a Mac.
Price Is Not Cost
This growing cottage industry of accessories for all things Apple helps to keep customers within the Apple ecosystem. How so? If you’ve plunked down $750 for a new iPhone in rose gold and then covered it up with a rich corinthian leather case, a dock, an external battery, and more cables, you’re not likely to switch to a Samsung Galaxy any time soon.
All those extras add to the overall and ongoing cost of owning an iPhone, well beyond the initial price tag. Perhaps the ultimate expression of an iPhone accessory is Apple Watch. What? Watch is an accessory? Yep. You need an iPhone to get anything useful from Watch, and by definition, that makes Watch an accessory.
Apple also has accessories for the accessory. Watch itself has a variety of bands; from fluoroelastomer to rich leather to expensive gold or steel links, and many of us have collections of Apple and third-party bands for Watch; possibly the perfect mixture of utility, fashion, and luxury in an electronic device. And that’s not to mention the Watch docks and third party Watch bands.
Remember, price is not cost. The Mac and the iPhone and iPad and everything else Apple sells, has a price tag. But as we attach seemingly needed and protective accessories to our collection of iDevices, the ongoing cost rises accordingly.
What’s on your list of Mac and iPhone accessories?