What do you buy for the (wo)man who has everything? The answer is a bunch of less expensive things to go with them. That's the premise of our Pocket-lint Christmas gift guides for 2009.
So far, we've focused on the Apple fanboy/girl in your life, the photographer, laptop addicts, the console gamer, PC gamer, the AV lover and the music geek. Today is the time for one of the most obsessive of all creatures in the tech world - that of the iPhone insaniac. Read to make their day.
One soap maker has taken their love affair with the the iPhone in an interesting direction with the launch of a Bourbon and Coke scented soap that looks just like one, UI and all. Etsy, through seller twoeggplants, is now selling the iPhone soap, for those who fancy rubbing their favourite gadget all over themselves.
We see the thought process - you love your iPhone you don't want to be separated from your phone, trouble is you can't take your phone into the shower. The bar is phone-sized, it's made from Shea butter, weighs around 3oz and it ships worldwide from $13.
Coming at you out of Melbourne, Oz, "Notepods" are notepads shaped like an iPhone. With the sell "App idea? There's a page for that", the Notepods have been created to help designers mock-up how iPhone apps will look, in an off-line kind of way. That, or they could just be used by iFans - "perfect for notes or jotting down the phone number of a hot geek".
They measure 60 x 110mm and a three pack will set you back $17.95 in American money via PayPal. The company will post them worldwide and guarantee timely arrival if you make your order by 7 December.
Covers and Cases
There are billions of these things out there but the bonus is that you can never have too many of them. It's easy enough to get some fairly standard looking ones from Griffin and Belkin, but the best are usually custom made.
Once again, Etsy is a great place to go on the hunt for this kind of thing but a few great ones with a nice geeky twist include - the old school Apple logo, one for the Horde, a Mario mushroom, a Zelda cover, a LOL Cat, a cassette tape, an Xbox, a CND symbol or a tyre tread for petrol heads. While your there, you might want to pick up some iPhone cuff links too.
Mophie Juice Pack Air
At the other end of the spectrum, you can go for a case that's completely ugly and doubles the thickness of your loved one's beautiful, svelte handset. Why? Because it will also extend the notoriously power-hungry phone's battery life up to three times. You're going to feel the Mophie Juice Pack Air in your pocket but it's well worth it for the £55 that it costs.
The idea is that you remember to charge the case up - remember to do that or it won't work. Then slot your iPhone into it where it'll use up all the juice. When it's done, you can then go back to your thin iPhone and the full charge that it carries itself. Very nice indeed.
iTunes Gift Cards
It may not seem like the most thrilling of gifts but an iTunes voucher is probably the best thing you can give to a die hard fan. There's no chance that they'll complain that they've already got one and, best of all, it gives them the opportunity to buy more apps, and lots of them.
Of course, if and when they get sick of those, there's plenty of music, films and TV that can be purchased with the credit as well. The cards come in £15, £25, £50 and even £100 denominations, whichever you choose, make sure it's (product) red and Apple will send some of the proceeds to charity.
Etymotics Custom Hf2
So far, we've had a price cap in our Christmas gift guide series that means we won't suggest gifts over £100. Once or twice, we'll admit, we've been a shade over. The Etymotics Hf2 noise isolating earphones complete with individually customised ear moulds and a speaker and control to go specially with the iPhone is where we put our hands up and just say, "We're sorry, but you simply have to spend the money". These things are too good to ignore.
The Etymotics Custom Hf2 cost around £180 in full. That's £99 for the Hf2s themselves and another £80 to get your ear moulds done. One option to keep the costs down is to go half way. Buy your giftee the initial part of the present and explain to them that they need to get the moulds done.
So, they've already got an excellent set of headphones? Then how about a Spotify premium subscription? It'll cost you 9.99 per month, but means that you giftee can then download the Spotify for iPhone app and get a free and enormous catalogue of songs on the move wherever they are. Almost limitless music at their fingertips. A true friend you would be.
We've all seen stands for the iPhone before, but none are quite as cute, flexible or appropriate as a stocking filler than the MovieWedge mini bean bag. Made of soft microsuede, that can also double as a screen wiper, the squidgy device gets a little lip to hold the gadget in place, but then contours to whatever you've placed it on. That way you can position it on whatever surface and whatever angle you need. Not bad for under $10 and, yes, they do ship world wide.
"Kiss My App's" T-shirt
Either you'll find this hilarious or not at all, just think seriously about whether your giftee would wear it. It's a t-shirt, it's very much non-Apple official and quite simply it reads "Kiss My App's". Everything else is a footnote. £8.99 on eBay. It's that or some slide to unlock underwear. The choice is yours, whilst the pain belongs to them.
Nothing will grind more with an iPhone fan than when their model of the Apple handset becomes obsolete, as it may have done some time around June this year. What you might be able to do for them for Christmas is to help them out with an early upgrade. They'll have a contract either with the Carphone Warehouse or O2 itself and they'll only be part way through it. You'll need to enlist their help here because you won't have the necessary details or authorisation, so no element of surprise to this one.
Hopefully, the contract will only have 6 or so months on it left, in which case it'll be somewhere between cheap and free to get an iPhone 3GS - plus another 18 months or so on the contract, of course. Otherwise, it's going to be more expensive.
If the salesperson quotes you too much, then try another one. You may find it's the same across the board but, as a last resort, it's worth contacting any one of Tesco, CW or O2 directly to see if they can help out. Just mind you don't end up getting sold a phone for yourself.