Citizens of iPod World

Yet another reminder, this time via Leander Kahney's Cult of Mac blog, that the iPod World is far bigger than what Apple itself produces. It's constantly growing thanks to partners like Nike.

Via a tech-buying guide that gave a way a bit too much in Men's Health, meet the still offifically unannounced Nike Amp+, a wristband that communicates with the Nike+iPod to allow you to control your precious iPod nano from your wrist via Bluetooth. Now you can keep it wrapped up safely and make on-the-go changes.

Nike's one of the few companies that can go toe-to-toe with Apple in the icon department, given their gift for marketing and design at the cutting edge of the athletic lifestyle. Just look at the fetish-worthy black-rubber contraption they've designed for your iPod-enhanced run.

Microsoft's Zune made it onto the Men's Health list, too, but that's not the point. The point is that almost three quarters of the cars on sale today in the US sport iPod integration. If you're driving an older model, the top names in the aftermarket will be glad to help out. Four airlines who combined to carry 178 million passengers around the world this year have also put iPod integration on their agenda for 2007. And these are just the largest of the over 3,000 accessories that make up iPod World's ecosystem; everything from jackets, to socks, to hats, to pants. I expect pre-wired, iPod-compatible luxury homes to come next.

If there's one thing Microsoft understands, it's the value of controlling the platform on which others build businesses. The iPod is just such a platform, and I doubt iPod vs Zune will play out quite the same way that Mac vs Windows did.


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