iPod Turns 10 Years Old Today

ipodoriginalTen years ago today, Steve Jobs took the stage and introduced the first iPod.

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.

Top Rated Comments

Renverse Avatar
140 months ago
I hope all of those negative commenters eat some delicious crow today. Yum.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacSince1990 Avatar
140 months ago
Happy birthday, little guy!
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KPOM Avatar
140 months ago
The iPod is what eventually got me back into the Mac fold. I purchased it in December 2001, even before it officially worked with Windows. I remember XPlay, Ephpod, and other "hacks" to get it to work with Windows. I even purchased a Firewire PCI card for my Windows XP desktop to get it to run. Of course, I managed to mess up the drive the first time, and took it to one of the brand new Apple stores 40 miles away, where the Genius Bar representative happily restored it.

I do remember the early criticism. In some respects, it was like the reaction to the iPhone 4S. Apple products in many ways fail to meet the hype but then greatly exceed the hype at the same time, if that makes any sense. People are "disappointed" that whatever they release didn't meet some wild speculation, but then realize that it's a great product. It happened with the iPod, the iPhone, the MacBook Air, and the iPad. All were roundly criticized by many "experts."
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jon1987 Avatar
140 months ago
The iPod failed IMO.

A £400 device without video.

WTF was Jobs on?

I'm sure apples bank balance proves the iPod turned out to be a failure.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
crackstein Avatar
140 months ago
That's why I hate so called experts!
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jca24 Avatar
140 months ago
I still have mine!

:apple:
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 No Longer Expected to Feature Built-In Heart Rate or Body Temperature Sensor

Sunday July 3, 2022 8:07 pm PDT by
While past rumors have indicated the upcoming second-generation AirPods Pro will feature a built-in heart rate and body temperature sensor, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has cast doubt on those rumors turning out to be true, saying instead such a feature is unlikely to come anytime soon. "Over the past few months, there have been rumors about this year's model gaining the ability to determine a...
Apple Watch 8 Unreleased Feature Thumb

Apple Watch Series 8 Model Rumored to Feature 5% Larger Display

Monday July 4, 2022 5:50 am PDT by
Apple is working on an Apple Watch Series 8 model with a larger display, according to DSCC's Ross Young and Haitong International Securities's Jeff Pu. In October last year, Young suggested that the Apple Watch Series 8 could come in three display sizes. Now, responding to a query about the rumor on Twitter, Young claims that the additional display size joining the Apple Watch lineup will be ...
macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...