Meet the PopSocket, a handy gadget that's taking the smartphone accessory market by storm

  • 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 increase their expansion on the international market next year.

Over the past year, you may have noticed more and more smartphones sporting one increasingly ubiquitous accessory: a colourful, 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.

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. 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.

Facebook/PopsocketsThe PopSocket is available in hundreds of different designs and colours.

It’s hard to say who popularised the PopSocket exactly, but over the past year, the accessory started appearing in Instagram selfies, wielded by celebrities like Gigi Hadid, Serena Williams, and Jared Leto. Initially, Hollywood was one of PopSockets’ top-performing markets, says Barnett, and the gadget’s popularity has trickled down to high schools and college campuses ever since.

Now, there’s an infinite number of different PopSockets available in every colour and design imaginable (you can even design your own on the company’s website). The craze has caught on, 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.

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.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.