There are some markets in the world where one particular product might do better than others. The reasons might be cost, design, culture, religion, any number of factors. Take Sony’s SRF-39FP MP3 player. Most people would say that it sucks, since it is no iPod, but in the US prison system, this is the MP3 player of choice.
This news comes from an interesting article from The New Yorker. If you check out the image, you’ll notice its transparent body and the fact that it uses a single AA battery which gives it an estimated forty hours of listening time. They like the transparent body because it prevents inmates from hiding contraband inside of it and the single AA battery also means that prisoners will not have to spend as much money on batteries.
Federal prisoners are reportedly only allowed to spend up to $320 a month on commissary goods, so less money spent on AA batteries means more to spend on snacks and other stuff. Well, now you know what makes a gadget a success with the prison population. In case you ever wanted to create a device aimed straight at them.