- Getty/Kevork Djansezian
- The PopSocket, an expanding stand and phone grip, has skyrocketed in popularity and has become a top-selling smartphone accessory.
- The company plans to sell as many as 30 million PopSockets in 2017, and has plans to ramp up its international market next year.
Over the past year, you may have noticed more and more smartphones sporting one increasingly ubiquitous accessory: a colorful, rubbery knob attached smack dab in the center of their backs.
Turns out, the knob has a name. It’s called a PopSocket, and for the past year, it’s been taking the smartphone accessory market by storm, with the trend even catching on with celebrities.
The craze has spread, it seems, because of the gadget’s infinite usefulness: its collapsible, accordion-style stem serves as one-part grip, one-part phone stand, and one-part headphone wrap. This allows users to easily shoot off one-handed texts, while also ensuring that you’ll never accidentally drop your phone mid-call ever again.
Check out Amazon’s list of best-selling smartphone accessories, and you’ll find PopSockets listed as their fourth most popular item. This year alone, the company has sold 25 million gadgets and they plan on selling an additional 5 million more before Christmas.
In 2014, PopSockets were sold exclusively online out of the garage of their inventor, David Barnett, who first created the accessory as a way to keep his headphones from tangling. Now, the PopSockets brand is available in Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and every major wireless provider’s outlets nationwide. Additionally, the gadget is sold in 40 other countries and the company has plans for further expansion overseas. Barnett says PopSockets has barely scratched the surface of the international market, but just this month, the company will open offices in Finland and Singapore.
Now, there’s an infinite number of different PopSockets available in every color and design imaginable (you can even design your own on the company’s website).
Barnett says he has ambitious plans for the company’s future and that the PopSocket is only the beginning. PopSockets LLC, which has production facilities in China, Korea, Mexico, and Seattle, will roll out a set of car vent mounts and PopSockets that double as wallet holders over the course of the next few months, with even more smartphone accessories in the works that are currently under wraps.
You can see some examples of celebrities showing off their PopSockets below:
Gigi Hadid was one of the first celebrities to sport a PopSocket, contributing to the gadget’s popularity in Hollywood.
Last summer, Jared Leto snapped a mirror selfie with his PopSocket.
The Dodgers were one of the first teams to unofficially endorse the gadget.
Coffee run! pic.twitter.com/SKuKTTKoPC
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 25, 2015
The trend has even caught on among Olympians: Last year, Michael Phelps took a photo with his wife and newborn baby Boomer.
Emma Roberts posted a Snapchat wielding a PopSocket as she got ready for the Coach 75th anniversary runway party in December 2016.
- Emma Roberts/Snapchat
Model and reality TV star Nicole Williams is a PopSocket fan.
Serena Williams snapped this PopSocket selfie in September.
You can see more uses for PopSockets in the video below.