Smartphones have become such an integral part of our everyday lives that most of us can’t imagine a world without them. From messaging to online shopping, planning trips to booking a restaurant table, our phones have become such indispensable tools that there are now more active mobile device connections on planet earth than people!
From a print on demand perspective, the fact that we carry our smartphones with us everywhere we go, combined with the fact that 44% of owners make an upgrade to a newer model every two years, means there are plenty of opportunities to build an online business based around selling custom accessories in this popular and lucrative niche.
Choosing a side — Android vs iOS
As you’re probably aware, the mobile landscape is pretty much split into two camps: Users with Android devices and those who prefer Apple’s range of iPhones.
Whilst there’s certainly money to be made offering custom accessories for all makes and models of smartphone, in this guide, we’re going to be focusing on Apple devices, simply because the smaller range of models means you won’t have to offer dozens of different versions of the same accessory to ensure compatibility.
Why should you start selling custom accessories for the Apple iPhone?
Well, for starters, the global market for Apple accessories was worth nearly $20 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $27.4 billion by 2026, so there’s no shortage of customers in this profitable niche.
In addition to a large and growing market for Apple-specific products, starting a print-on-demand business selling custom accessories has several other benefits for sellers:
iPhone cases are pretty much the “gold standard” when it comes to custom accessories for Apple’s popular smartphone range.
As we’ve previously mentioned, cases are now considered essential accessories for smartphones due to the relatively fragile nature of these expensive devices. Here’s a selection of popular iPhone specific offerings from our catalog:
The iPhone 12 tough case is made from a super-durable and impact resistant polycarbonate material that fits snugly, whilst allowing easy access to the device’s ports and volume switches. Here are the full specs:
What is trending this Halloween is funny, quirky text slogans in creepy fonts. So why not pair our AOP unisex Cut & Sew tee with “Not a ghost, just dead inside’” or “Let’s get spooky” or “Future ghost”. With a whole host of base colors to choose from and all-over print available, customized shirts make great Halloween gifts.
The iPhone 12 snap case has the same awesome fit and finish as our tough case, but is a little slimmer and lighter in weight, still offering decent impact resistance, but in a more svelte and pocket friendly thickness. The specs and printing process are very similar to the iPhone 12 tough case, but the slightly thinner plastic means the case doesn’t impact wireless charging.
If you’re looking for iPhone 12 accessories that will accommodate smaller, more subtle print designs, or you’re looking for a more minimalist case that shows off the iPhone aesthetics, there’s also a clear version of the snap case available, with the same slim and precise fit and wireless charging compatibility.
As more and more attention is focused on climate change and environmental issues, consumers are increasingly choosing products with a lower carbon footprint or an assurance that they’ve been ethically sourced. Apple itself is already a carbon neutral company, and is committed to making it’s full range of products zero-carbon by 2030 too.
So where does that leave the print-on-demand seller looking to offer more sustainable custom accessories to their customers? Well, a good place to start would be our very own biodegradable iPhone 12 cases.
If you’re looking for custom accessories with sustainability credentials, biodegradable iPhone 12 cases are a fantastic choice. Here are the specs:
Other custom accessories for iPhones
iPhone cases are definitely one the most popular custom accessories, but they’re certainly not the only option for print on demand sellers. There are plenty of other interesting customizable iPhone accessories in the Printify catalog. Here are a few of our favorites:
As smartphones continue to grow in size, users with smaller hands can find it difficult to get a firm grip on their devices. Enter the Printify Click-On Grip: This product might look simple, but trust us, this is one of the best custom accessories out there for iPhone users. Whether you’re taking a photo or typing a message, the Click-On Grip seriously enhances your iPhone user experience.
The Click-On Grip attaches to iPhones with a strong adhesive block, and as well as providing a more secure grip, also works as an adjustable kickstand, helping to position the screen at the perfect angle for watching videos hands-free.
Here are the details:
Other custom accessories for Apple products
It’s important to remember that if you’re selling custom accessories that cater to iPhone users, you aren’t just limited to items that work directly with the phones themselves. The Apple ecosystem encompasses all kinds of accessories and ancillary devices, and Printify has some great custom print-on-demand products to make them look unique:
Apple ditched traditional headphone jacks on iPhones back in 2016, whilst in the same stroke launching their own take on wireless earbuds, known as AirPods, and more recently, a higher end set known as AirPods Pro.
The AirPod wireless headphones come with their own case, which doubles as a charging dock. That means iPhone users listening to music on the go are likely to carry this little plastic charging case with them at all times — and that means there’s plenty of opportunities to create some awesome custom-printed AirPods accessories!
The Printify personalized AirPods and AirPods Pro case safeguards the important charging case from scratches and drops, whilst at the same time offering plenty of scope for customization with a beautifully smooth surface and custom printing in vibrant and crisp colors.
This sturdy case works with wireless and regular charging, and also includes a handy metal carabiner that can be used to clip the case onto a belt or rucksack strap to keep it safe.
AirPods and AirPods pro custom accessories give print on demand sellers something unique to offer their customers, giving online store owners the opportunity to branch out from more run-of-the-mill items.
The Apple Watch pretty much requires you to be an iPhone user to take advantage of its many features. That makes offering Apple Watch accessories a good way to give customers some extra choice in your online store.
Although Apple sells its own range of straps, the apple watch band in the Printify catalog allows sellers to create something truly unique, with a faux-leather band that can be printed in designs to suit all kinds of tastes and styles.
Here are the details:
Apple took their sweet time to integrate wireless charging into the iPhone, but since the release of the iPhone 8, every model of Apple’s smartphone family supports charging without a cable.
Wireless charging is a pretty neat technology, but the chargers themselves tend to be a little bland to look at. The wireless charger in our catalog on the other hand, adds a touch of bespoke style to an otherwise humdrum accessory.
This custom charge pad gives all compatible iPhones 10w of juice, whilst the top surface can be printed with your custom designs, using high-fidelity sublimation printing.
Here are some of the standout features:
Perfect for an impromptu party or a picnic in the park, this premium bluetooth speaker works with all models of iPhone and delivers superb sound quality on the move. The built in battery is good for over 2 hours of use at maximum volume, and as a really useful bonus, the raised top plate allows iPhone wireless charging.
Printify’s portable speaker with wireless charger is a fully customizable accessory that allows sellers to print their own designs on the aluminum cylindrical body. This high-end accessory lends itself to all sorts of designs and styles and could even be used as a promotional giveaway for media or entertainment businesses.
iPhone and iOS devices are obvious choices for a custom accessories business, but if your store is targeting iPhone users, there’s really no reason why you couldn’t branch out to cater to other Apple devices such as laptops.
Apple’s ecosystem of apps and hardware means that iPhone users are much more likely to use the company’s other products, such as the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, which to some extent takes a little of the guesswork out of launching new product lines.
Here are a few non-iPhone custom accessories that get honorable mentions in this guide due to the fact that they can easily be targeted towards Apple fans:
These laptop sleeves come in a variety of sizes, and are perfect as a MacBook Air sleeve, as well as for the larger sized MacBook Pro. As custom accessories go, this neoprene sleeve is up there with the best, due to the large printing surface and high-quality, water resistant construction.
Custom printed mouse pads make great companions to laptops and desktop computers. The large print surface gives you the opportunity to create interesting designs, and the non-slip neoprene material keeps mouse movements precise and stable. Mouse pads might not sound so exciting at first, but it’s possible to achieve a pretty high markup on items like this, and as a handy bonus, they’re super easy to ship.
Starting a print on demand side hustle can be daunting at first, especially in a competitive market like Apple custom accessories. Just like any other successful business, your main focus should be on appealing to the right niche and getting your designs in front of the right audience.
Over time, you’ll begin to understand what makes Apple and iPhone users tick, experimenting with your designs and price points until you figure out the winning formula.
That brings us to the end of our list – what did you think of these products? Is there something we missed or that you’d like to see in our catalog?
Let us know in the comments below.
Make it happen today!
Share the article