iPod Turns 10 Years Old Today
The portable music player is seen as being largely responsible for Apple's dramatic comeback over the past decade. It also led Apple down the path into the consumer electronics market. While the iPod has diminished in importance over the past few years, Apple's bottom line is now dominated by devices such as the iPhone and iPad.
Macworld provides a nice story detailing how the iPod came to be:
Behind every successful product lies a problem in search of a solution. The inspirational problem, in the iPod’s case, involved the pitiful state of the young MP3 player market in the late 1990s.
Portable MP3 players had been around since the mid 1990s, but Apple found that every one on the market offered a lackluster user experience. Steve Jobs had a strong term for gadgets like that: “crap”. Everyone at Apple agreed.
Initial reaction to the iPod wasn't entirely favorable. Slashdot's famous reaction was "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame." MacRumors was also around at the time as well, and much of the reader reaction was also negative. One commenter wrote:
All that hype for an MP3 player? Break-thru digital device? The Reality Distiortion Field™ is starting to warp Steve's mind if he thinks for one second that this thing is gonna take off.
Of course, ten years later, the iPod has sold over 304 million units.