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Cheap Line of Android Accessories Introduced by iHome, Because Android is a Cheap OS

We knew that sooner or later the good people at iHome would realize that there was huge potential in the accessory market for Android devices. They have finally made their first step into this growing market and are introducing two docks that are catered towards the more budget-friendly Android owner, which is probably all of us. (/s) One dock is a decent looking alarm clock/speaker dock which runs only $60 and then there is a portrait dock that will be priced at $40. Coming from iHome, who makes some of the nicest and expensive iOS docks available, these are quite moderately priced. 

Can we expect bigger and better docks to come from iHome, such as the iP4? I think we are going to have to cross our fingers and hope these sell well until iHome wants to start throwing money into accessories that aren’t even compatible will all Android devices across the board. Sure, they almost all use micro-USB, but until that slot is placed in the same spot on every device, docks for Android devices are just a pain in the butt to manufacturer and market.

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Anyone with plans on picking one of these docks up?

Via: CNET

  • why

    Why can’t the manufacturers put the micro-USB or 3.5 mm headset connector on a retractable wire? That seems too easy. 

  • Christian Bennett

    Am I the only one who thinks that any assesory that requires a device to be physically plugged in has no future?

  • Steve S

    Annnnd this will not work for Razr. USB plug is on the top of the phone!

  • Dliuzzo110

    I don’t see why this would be a “google” problem. Google makes software. This is a oem problem. Oem’s should make a dock for everyphone they make. Some people want a dock some people want a charging pad. The only way to solve this in a universal kind of way is to make one universal dock with nfc charging capabilities. This way oems could consintrate on putting phones with nfc charging capabilities and accessory makers could focus on universal docks with nfc capabilities. Problem solved, you can email me my Nobel prize.O:-) j/k man.

  • Kindroid

    Inexpense….not CHEAP.

    • Lactose_the_Intolerant

      cheap/CHēp/
      Adjective:(of an item for sale) Low in price; worth more than its cost.Yeah, that works :p

  • Justin Settle

    After looking at the photos I think this is a great start. Yes all phones should convert to the Apple way and make everything standard and not change it. That would make life a lot easier, but for now they haven’t because each phone has to be different in it’s own way. Thats why I like the iC50. The view of it on its side looks natural, it would be great for a RAZR or DroidX, infact is there any bottom feeders? Standing, I like the iC3 because it looks that is what it is made for.

  • frankandsimple

    Android is not cheap.. Android is free… 

    • Tim242

      Wrong. OEM’s have to pay Google for GApps, and licensing fees to other companies, like Microsoft.

      • frankandsimple

        yea, but for a consumer like me, it is free.. as long as I can download Android and tweak it to work my device.. which is what a lot of the developers do.

  • DanWazz

    Where can I get the Andy lock icon?

  • Bob Martin

    If they want to call us cheap and sell us docks that are like $40 cheaper then iphones docks for our $200+ phones then so be it.

  • http://www.getintonursing.com/ Jon

    What’s surprising is that a manufacturer like Samsung doesn’t just do this on their own. Why not standardize the bottom of all Samsung phones so they could work with a dock like this? 

  • NAM37

    Didn’t the original Nexus have a set of dock contacts on it?  I wounder why that didn’t standardize.

  • thisismalhotra

    People should go and check their website for more pictures, the $60 dock works both landscape and portrait.

    It would be nice if DL adds the pictures attached to this comment in the main article to show folks how the connector works

    • BroRob

      THIS is the kind of dock I’ve been waiting for. I’m buying 2 of them!

    • jayp976

       So here lies the problem. On the Razr, not only is the micro usb port on the top side of the phone, but the orientation is backwards. So if I were to plug it in I would be looking at the back of the phone. What good would that do?

      • Trevor

        I noticed that too.  Unless that microUSB jack can rotate 180 degrees, it’s backwards for my Galaxy Nexus as well.

        • Nexus15

          the philips speaker docks have 180 rotating usb connectors. i just hope these actually use the ADK connection protocol showed off last years IO for accessories

  • http://www.JWesCampbell.com/ Wes Campbell

    on what planet are these cheap?

  • jtwildman1

    My biggest complaint about my phone is not getting quality sound when hooking to my stereo. The 3.5mm headphone jack just doesn’t cut it. However,I doubt my problem will be solved until there is one industry standard for all Android phones.

  • NemaCystX

    I think there more releasing these cheap accessories to see how well demand is and if its high, they’ll release premium ones.  I remember when iHome was mostly cheap junk for iOS junk and it slowly became premium stuff.

    But I want to see what Google has cooking up with that Android@Home thing and the API they talked about at last years IO for music and other accessories

  • Mikedeamicis

    I wish that the phone manufacturers would get their head out of their butts and start serving the consumers a little better. i would love a nice dock for my phone but the good ones are only available for apple products and I do not support communism so that is not an option for me. 

    The problem is not only do manufactures place the connections in different locations, no manufacturer seems to use the same loction more than once. it is rediculouse and we will ever have nice docs from the good makers so longs as our handset and tablet maers continue to set themselves so far apart from everyone else that they are imprctical to manufacture nice accessories for.

    The icrapple crowd gets all the goodies because tho one thing apple gets right is cross compatibility between different devises and generations of the same device. All the ihome products are compatible with most ipods and iphones.

    It was so nice when the fcc stepped in and made everyone switch to the same micro usb charging ports, eliminating the need for 5 diferenent charging devices in the house. i can now take one microusb cord and a usb detachment wall adapter and use the same cord for my portable hard drive and my phone wherever i go, even in the car since I have a usb car charger as well.

    Serving the customer is a concept long lost. The consumer continues to buy whatever is available and no longer demands their needs and desires be met well.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25001493 Hank Godwin

      “it is rediculouse and we will ever have nice docs from the good makers so longs as our handset and tablet maers continue to set themselves so far apart from everyone else that they are imprctical to manufacture nice accessories for”

      Is that really how you think ridiculous is spelled?

      • CheeseMcGee

        Your coment was uncessarie and rediclose

    • angermeans

      The reason manufacturers don’t make more accessories is that they are too busy releasing half a dozen phones every month bleeding their customers dry. They dont see a market in it as only a handful of Android phones have a user base that is large enough to support high end accessories outside of extended batteries, car chargers, and cases. This won’t change until things calm down. Why would a company (especially third party which lets be honest is where we see the best docs and such) want to risk dumping millions into mass producing accessories when people are so quickly moving to a newer device with minimal specs over the last (ie Motorola and it’s ridiculous Razr line that they happen to minimally update every two months and from the rumors looks like they wont be slowing down as the HD is right around the corner. It should have came on the first Razr and so should have the MAXX battery) one. This won’t change until OEMs stop taking advantage of people. I am cheering on the HTC One series and Galaxy S line as that shows some kind of hope for Android as lets be honest Android is in the process of being ran into the ground by greedy OEMs and Wireless providers. They are not even supporting the phones they release beyond 2 months why would they crank out a bunch of accessories?

      As for your comment on Apple which states, The icrapple crowd gets all the goodies because tho one thing apple gets right is cross compatibility between different devises and generations of the same device. All the ihome products are compatible with most ipods and iphones.”

      Come on man I understand not being interested in Apple products and thats fine, but they are getting a whole lot more “right” than just keeping most of their products supported in the accessory realm. They keep their phones updates for 3 years (might not get all the features like Siri so please dont try and make that an argument as they are supporting much more than Android is now), they have a great eco system that developers actually make money at, their customers trust Apple and that is slowly going the way of the dinosaur with Android OEMs as we are now seeing most Android users 2 year contracts go out and droves are going to the iPhone (not my choice, but then again any geek will choose Android for its many options). The iPhone may not have a lot of the cool features like Android, but at least on iOS you dont have to deal with horrible and extremely buggy skins that drag Android and its usability to it’s knees. Dont be so nieve just because you prefer Android. Apple is obviously doing something more right than just making most devices backwards compatible with most accessories. They have built an entire eco system that is friendly to both third party accessory makers and also developers in making their apps run on all iOS devices which is completely the opposite of what Android is doing right now. I want so bad for Android to live and ICS as Matias Duarte and the Android team created is absolutely a masterpiece and I had high hopes that OEMs would some what respect that, but I was completely wrong. Like I said Google needs to tighten the reigns or Android as we know it will not be and they will start to lose market share to iOS and Windows Phone here in the next couple years. People will only get burned so many times before leaving for promises of greener pastures. 

      • Bob Martin

        I was reading some comments on this article. I clicked the refresh button took one look at your comment and grabbed a bowl of popcorn. I may get hungry by the time I finish reading your story.

  • http://twitter.com/JaizukeD JaizukeD

    the Android line was actually designed pretty smart; the usb port slides, so it always positions properly on any phone.

    • Hanswee

       phillips has similar docks.   the manufacturers just had to get off their asses and build the docks.  its not like this took forever to make and they dont have to pay apple for that made for ipod “certification” crap

  • http://twitter.com/REN3GADE0715 The One

    If you pick one of these up use the discount code of “Rock20″ for 20% off. It knocks $8 off your order!

    • JulianZHuang

      thanks so much. i might buy the small dock. 

  • Flat_Stanley

    It looks like you pull out a small microusb cord and plug it into the phone. It doesn’t seem like you can easily slide your phone down into it.

  • http://twitter.com/spdivr1122 Stephen

    siiiiick. that would be awesome to have 

  • http://twitter.com/DroidBricker Droid Bricker

    Well…. it’s free, can’t get any cheaper than free!
    I’ll take the more functional OS (including linux) over some BS proprietary garbage, if that makes me cheap….GOOD!

  • MikeD675

    Would love to have one in landscape orientation with a speaker.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dr.brown David Brown

      If your charging port is on the side of your phone, then it couldn’t be in anything other than landscape. Sucks if your charge port is on the top, then you have to dock it upside down.

      • MikeD675

        Actually with this dock it looks like you could use it either way. The manuals shows the USB connection is movable and removable, so in theory you could have the phone resting in a landscape mode and connect the USB cord “outside” of the dock (thinking of Galaxy Nexus). It sucks that they use an audio cable from the headphone jack to the speaker though, not as elegant.

  • craig0r

    I would totally pick one up if HTC hadn’t put the microUSB port on the freakin’ side of the One X!

  • DanWazz

    I’ve been in the market for something like iC50. I might be picking it up in the next week or two.

  • ChuckDz3

    These are pretty cool. I don’t care if they classify Android as ‘cheap’ I’ll gladly buy their products if they offer ‘cheap’ prices. 

    Question how do these speakers play? seeing that they don’t have a 3mm jack input. Bluetooth?

    • DanWazz

      I seems like there is some space in the dock under the usb port that you might be able to squeeze a jack into.

    • Mikedeamicis

       if you connect the micro usb, then it can read anything on the phone, should be able to work that way. But i am not an electronics wiz either.

  • Brian Kracoff

    Will the $60 one work in landscape since i have a Droid X?

    • http://twitter.com/SnkBitten SnkBitten

      From the product description..

      SmartSlide™ dock with custom micro USB cable for smartphone charging regardless of its charging port location/orientation. Also enjoy FM radio with digital tuning. A microUSB charging cable and stereo audio cable with 3.5 mm plug are included. 

      • Mikedeamicis

         i will buy one just to support the concept of marketing to us as well as apple users.

  • http://www.matthewdlyons.com/ matthewdlyons

    This —> “…but until that slot is placed in the same spot on every device, docks for Android devices are just a pain in the butt to manufacturer and market.”

    BINGO!

    • Tommy Thompson

      The docks Phillips made work for any phone. If they can make it work so can iHome.

      • http://www.matthewdlyons.com/ matthewdlyons

        That’s fine. I’m sure Philips is using a 3.5mm headphone cable to connect, as does iHome. The point is really about developing interesting docks and speaker system that look nice. Without all of the Android devices having a MicroUSB slot, pins, or 3.5mm heaphone jack in the same place — not to mention the incredible variety in sizes — there’s really no way to develop units that work with all those devices while still looking sleek and elegant. It will pretty much always been an adapter situation unless one OEM’s devices takes off and third-parties follow.

  • Akowal

    Doesn’t do me much good to have the usb connector be at the base of the stands when my Razr Maxx’s port is on the top of the phone….

  • Zebra

    Given the non existent docks for the GNex, the Clock Radio dock looks pretty good actually. Its too bad the docks don’t have integrated music controls on them, but then again that would be pretty hard (impossible) to do globally across Android.

  • http://www.kovdev.com/ koveleski

    Google should make common placement of the mini-USB port part of the requirements for the Google apps package if they want to bring some stability to the accessories ecosystem.

    • UndergroundWire

      ^ This

      That is why iPhones are more attractive to manufacturers that make accessories.

      • Fattie McDoogles

        I couldn’t agree more… its so frustrating always having a different location for the headphone jack and charging port. Not that micro USB could handle playing music and charging but the point remains the same. 

        • Noyfb

          All i ever wanted is a dock with speakers better than my phone to use and a portable speaker system to use cause earbuds never stay in my ears

    • http://twitter.com/kirilv Kiril

      I’ve been saying this for years. It’s not a problem that “no one thinks there is potential in the market for Android accessories”. Rather, the problem is that there is no standard for Android accessories — it’s hard to make one product that fits all Android devices. I think Google shoudl go one step further and make a standard dock connector for Android.

    • Tommy Thompson

      I would rather have a common placement for the micro-usb.

    • http://twitter.com/eddieruko Eddie Rivera

       not only placement on the phone itself (bottom, side, etc)… but also the orientation of the port. i hate having to play tetris with my charger going from device to device.

      • Butters619

        Hahaha I know how that is.  I always guess the wrong way.

        • http://twitter.com/HowdyFellers Inspector Butters

          my name is relevant to you

    • AndrewScottRox

      Didn’t Google already try to have a standardized android template for android phones just for this reason?

    • sirmeili

       This in a way solves that by having a sliding connector. It won’t solve the ones that have the usb on the top, but will accommodate the ones with the port on the side and let you center it on the dock.

      • MikeD675

        The USB connector on the IC3 is removable (just a USB cord that attaches to the side of the dock). SO in theory it can accommodate any location of USB port, with an “externally” connected USB cable.

    • feztheforeigner

      That’s destroying the integrity of Android. Google shouldn’t tell anybody anything: it is an Open Source OS and should remain as such. Eventually, someone will figure out a better place than the bottom of the phone to place a micro/mini USB, maybe even inside the phone.

      Let the manufacturers manufacture and Google develop.

      • you

        the os would still be open. just  the name and play store would be limited if the manufacturer was to change the latout of the connector. they could still use the os.

  • http://twitter.com/lisateichmann Lisa Teichmann

    finally!