Celebrating The 20th Anniversary Of The “Gadget Of The 21st Century” – Apple’s iPod
Last Saturday marked the anniversary of one of the most defining moments in Apple’s history – the first-generation iPod’s entrance into the world.
Steve Jobs first introduced this iconic device in 2001, at a small press event at the Town Hall auditorium at Apple’s former Infinite loop headquarters; pulling it out his pocket, he famously pitched it with the slogan: “1,000 songs in your pocket.”
[Image Creds: Kim Kulish/Corbis via Getty]
“With iPod, Apple has invented a whole new category of digital music player that lets you put your entire music collection in your pocket and listen to it wherever you go,” Jobs stated in a press release. “With iPod, listening to music will never be the same again.”
And he wasn’t wrong – this slick little device revolutionised how people consumed and experienced music; it was the product of the moment, the must-have gadget, the jewel in Apple’s crown.
The iPod, along with the original iMac, it helped the company – faced with bankruptcy in the late 1990s and a loss of $195 million by 2001 – keep its head above water, later turning out to be one of the most important products in Apple’s history. It not only became a bestseller, named the “gadget of the 21st century,” but started a legacy: a chain of iPod models, each unique, of which more than 400 million have reportedly been sold.
[Image Creds: macrumours.com]
Two years after the birth of the iPod came the launch of iTunes, which changed the way we all discover, shop and listen to music. Offering the music industry and its customers a downloading service made the consumption of music the more accessible, enjoyable and enticing.
Of course, the 2007 launch of the iPhone, combining a mobile and an internet browser with a music player all-in-one, signalled the iPod’s demise. Music streaming overtook digital downloads, and people now would choose to pay for a music subscription to a site, like Spotify, over a narrower range of MP3s.
That being said – to honour this day, let’s reminisce on the evolvement of the iconic iPod over the years.
iPod Mini, 2004
A cheaper, slimmer version of the iPod, with function buttons on the click wheel, became available in five metallic colours: blue, pink, silver, green and gold.
[Image Creds: Apple Support]
iPod Shuffle, 2005
Without an LCD screen, this miniature audio player was designed for people content with shuffling the songs on their playlists.
[Image Creds: The Verge]
iPod Classic, 2007
A hotshot gadget for music collectors, the sixth-generation model included an album cover flow and Genius Mixes (Apple-generated playlists from users’ songs). The 160GB model held up to 40,000 songs.
[Image Creds: Apple History]
iPod Touch, 2007
The only iPod that has withstood the test of team – still available to buy from Apple, this iPod resembles an iPhone, just minus the function for phone calls.
[Image Creds: Apple Support]
Whilst the iPod’s glory days are over, with the iPod touch being the sole remaining model on the market, its history is a golden one. What was once an enormous gamble not only helped Apple to become a trillion-dollar powerhouse, but shaped the way we all consume, discover and experience music today.
Finally, for our previous #SocialShort, click here.