Original iPod: Happy Eleventeenth Birthday
Although Apple generally isn’t known for sentimentality, October 23, 2001 is the date Steve Jobs (clip below the fold) introduced the original iPod. And, today, roughly one year after the death of Jobs, Apple is introducing the iPad mini, the latest insanely great product from the company that has changed everything again and again.
The original “1,000 songs in your pocket” iPod was Mac only and used a FireWire cable to sync and charge. Yet even in that limited form it was vastly superior to anything else on the market — the operating system, click wheel and seamless iTunes integration were all revolutionary, years ahead of the competition.
The name iPod was proposed by Vinnie Chieco, a freelance copywriter, who (with others) was called by Apple to figure out how to introduce the new player to the public. After Chieco saw a prototype, he thought of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and the phrase “Open the pod bay door, Hal!,” which refers to the white EVA Pods of the Discovery One spaceship. Chieco saw an analogy to the relationship between the spaceship and the smaller independent pods in the relationship between a personal computer and the music player — Wikipedia
Although Apple didn’t crush its MP3 player competition until 2005 (the image above is from 2004), the iPod and its white earbuds were nonetheless a sensation from day one. It is true that the media player market is in decline, Apple still dominates with a greater than 70 percent share.
So, welcome to the world, iPad mini and many happy birthday returns to your big brother, the original iPod.
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