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Quirky to launch crowdsourced Apple gear, partners with Fab

Fresh on the heels of its massive $68 million Series C round, social product design startup Quirky is out with a pair of new announcements — Apple-related(s AAPL), of course, given the day.

The New York-based company said it’s launching its first product vertical specifically around Apple (s AAPL). Quirky also said it will team up with design-centric shopping site Fab to design and bring to market a new line of accessories for the recently-announced iPhone 5.

Since 2009, Quirky has enabled an online community to work with the company’s in-house engineers and designers to create two consumer products every week.  As part of its partnership with Fab, aspiring inventors can submit ideas for iPhone 5 accessories to Quirky starting today and then members of both Quirky and Fab will vote on their favorite ideas.

In 72 hours, the company said, the first products will be ready to go into production. Fab will start selling the new accessories on its site starting Sept. 19, two days before the iPhone 5 ships (more details here.)

In addition to the Fab partnership, Quirky founder Ben Kaufman said in a blog post that the company is launching a new Apple-focused vertical, including a commitment to launch a new Apple accessory a week and give Apple fans new collaboration tools.

From experience, I can say with great conviction that the world of Apple is home to some of the most aggressive, passionate, tenacious and super-knowledgeable community members around.

So, beginning today, we are committing to launch one brand new accessory product per week, with the help of Apple fans around the world. Beyond that, we will work to produce compelling content, and great tools that Apple folks can use to hang out and talk about their favorite products and dream accessories.

When Quirky announced its funding last week, Kaufman said they planned to boost community engagement with a new focus on verticals. This move – a smart one given just how rabid Apple fans tend to be – is the first step toward realizing that strategy.

Especially considering the amount of money Quirky has raised (and the high level support it’s receiving – Kleiner Perkins’ Mary Meeker and Andreessen Horowitz’s Scott Weiss just joined its board) it’s nice to see the company launching interesting partnerships and initiatives.

Launching an Apple-focused vertical also takes Kaufman back to his roots a bit given that the 25-year-old first made a name for himself as an inventor and entrepreneur by creating Mophie, the popular brand of iPhone and iPod products.

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