We were at the Indianapolis airport tonight to meet some friends coming back from China. While wandering around trying to find their concourse, I stumbled across this (click to enlarge):
That’s right — it’s an iPod vending machine. There were all sizes and colors of iPods available, along with accessories like cases and headphones. A sticker on the vending machine says that the merchandise inside is available at “great low prices”, although here we see that you won’t score any deals on the iPods themselves:
Two questions that immediately came to mind: (1) What exactly are you going to do with an iPod from a vending machine while you’re on the road? It’s not like they come out of the machine with music loaded on them. If you’ve got your laptop with your iTunes library on it, why would you be buying one of these in the first place? And, (2) What do you do if the iPod gets stuck in the machine on its way down?
Evidently, though, these things do pretty well. TUAW reports that a single iPod vending machine in the Atlanta airport pulls in over $55,000 in sales per month. That’s a lot of nanos. And after scouring the southside of Indy a few months ago looking — unsuccessfully — for a stupid docking cable, I can definitely see the value in having common accessories like that stocked in a single place, especially if you’re on the road and accidentally left your earbuds back in the hotel room.
[Both of the photos above are from Jason Pearce's flickr stream; didn't have the camera with me at the time, or I would've taken the shots myself.]
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