iPod Turns 10 Years Old Today

Ten 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

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117 months ago
I hope all of those negative commenters eat some delicious crow today. Yum.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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117 months ago
Happy birthday, little guy!
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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117 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)
Avatar
117 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)
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117 months ago
That's why I hate so called experts!
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
117 months ago
I still have mine!

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

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