Irish company launches own-brand iPod accessories

19 Oct 2006

An Irish company is aiming to take a bite out of the growing Apple iPod accessories market by launching its own range of products.

Jivo Technology (pronounced jive-o) is a brand created by Dublin-based TNS Distribution, a trade-only technology products supplier. The Jivo product range currently has 18 items including an international travel charger for iPods, a car charger with sync cable for an iPod as well as coloured silicone ‘skins’ — cases for first- and second-generation iPod nanos as well as ones that fit the larger-format iPod video.

The products are designed in Ireland, with manufacturing outsourced to China. According to Michelle McCarthy, marketing manager with TNS Distribution, the company’s experience of supplying other manufacturers’ products prompted the move to selling its own. “We’re so close to the market ourselves and we have the market knowledge that we can see which are the fast-moving products,” she said.

“Generally speaking we are chatting about these every day with suppliers and are receiving information about products in the pipeline. Whilst we didn’t directly have the ‘top secret’ information from Apple about the dimensions of the new Nano, we did know there was one on the way. This market knowledge from across many suppliers does give us a strategic advantage,” McCarthy explained.

“People are happy to see there’s an Irish brand and we’re able to get products to customers quickly,” she added. The company is in the process of getting the ‘made for iPod’ accreditation from Apple, which it will be able to show on the Jivo product packaging.

Several new Jivo products are already planned for launch early next year. “We’re going to diversify slightly out of the iPod market,” said McCarthy. These will include a Skype-compatible phone handset, computer peripherals and a digital photo frame, which lets people insert a memory card from a digital camera and then displays the pictures in it, refreshing the pictures every day, hour or minute as needed.

Jivo products are available in Ireland in most shops where there iPods are sold, including the O2 and 3G retail chains. TNS has already supplied several thousand Jivo travel chargers as part of a ‘bundle’ promotion with O2 stores.

By Gordon Smith

Pictured — Jivo international travel charger