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Checking in on the Skymall Index

Back in February I humbly introduced the Skymall Index -- a highly unscientific, completely unofficial, 90% tongue-in-cheek metric for determining the scale of the iPod ecosystem by checking the Skymall catalog for iPod appearances and dividing that number by the count of old stock photos of obsolete Macs. On a flight from NYC to Detroit recently, I figured it was time to review the SI and check out the late spring 2007 catalog (is anyone else slightly weirded out by Alexander Innovation Wizard's gadget fist of power, or is it just me?). To keep the formula normalized (like that matters) I'm not going to factor in the appearances of old iPod models in charger photos; however, I am counting any Mac with the Apple logo redacted out as a 'vintage' stock photo, just out of spite. Anyway, on to the tally sheet:

iPod peripherals, not counting multi-device chargers: 16, with the coolest being the Viewsonic PJ258d projector with built-in iPod dock, perfect for those nights on the deck with your inflatable screen. For what it's worth, almost every device that supplies electricity shows an iPod as one of the charging targets; even the Power Dome II utility generator is billed with "charges almost anything -- even your iPod!"

Stock photos of old or obscured Macs: (including a Titanium PBG4 and a Wall Street PBG3 on facing pages of the Improvements section... yikes!): 5, but with a couple of MacBook Pro machines to bring things up to current spec. The trend of wiping out the Apple logo seems to be on the rise, but the machines are easily identifiable regardless.

A bit of scrawling on the back of an envelope later, we come up with a current Skymall index of 3.2, compared to 1.83 the last time around. Not too shabby. Also worthy of note in this pass through the Skymall catalog: while a couple of vendors already advertise compatibility with the iPhone, there are exactly zero peripherals that say they work with the Zune.

Back in February I humbly introduced the Skymall Index -- a highly unscientific, completely unofficial, 90% tongue-in-cheek metric for...