Any Colour as Long as It's iMac

Peripherals styled along the lines of Apple Computer's hit iMac and iBook computers are nothing new. They began appearing as soon as marketers realized the public liked the cutesy color schemes and style. Here at MacWorld Expo, just about anything you need for your iMac, or the desk space around it, is on sale, and the visitors are lapping it up.

Peripherals styled to match the computer are everywhere--from the iFruit keyboard and UniMouse to the MacAudio speaker system and UniRiser stand.

Need somewhere to keep your papers and files? No problem--the iStation will do that. Want to keep track of time? Why not try the iClock (styled just like a little iMac!). Need to keep up with the news while surfing? Yup, an "iFM Radio" is also available--this final product proving "i" can be stuck in front of just about anything tangerine-colored to help it sell.

And who says the item must be computer-related? Reiko Nagatani, of the Apple Leaf Mac User Group, sold out of his line of necklaces boasting iMac-colored stones and beads, and then started testing the waters with a matching line of earrings.

Windows users who think this can't happen in their neighborhood should watch out. Some at the show say they see signs that this enthusiasm is spreading beyond the Mac community.

"We're finding many PC users are also opting for the colors," says H. Keith Renty, product information manager for Belkin. The company was selling a range of adapters designed to put everything from printers to Ethernet on a Universal Serial Bus connection to cut down on wiring.

Because the units are designed to work with USB, Belkin courted both Apple and PC customers. He finds the iMac-like styled devices are becoming fashionable with both camps.

And if you want to make your beige printer a little more iMac-like, you'll want "Caerio." These iMac-colored clear plastic panels are designed to replace the plain beige panels in Seiko Epson's range of Colorio printers.

"I feel a little strange. We are a computer parts supplier and we usually sell things in black or white," says Isao Uchishiba, president of Uchishiba Seisakusho, the computer parts vendor that manufactures the panels.

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Martyn Williams

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