In 2001 the first iPod was launched and was described as a 5GB Mac Compatible product that would put 1000 songs in your pocket. It came at the right time – computing was taking off, downloading digital content was the norm and the PC ruled the roost in computing. In 2007 Apple launched a mobile phone that combined a browser, a music player and graphical media in one device. It’s still the only device we’ve seen that has managed to absorb the smartphone and not the other way round.
Launching the iPod in the days of Music Piracy vs Digital Geeks vs Music Labels also helped its cause in a sleeping media industry. Although Sony Ericsson was doing the bass phones and Walkman’s, the iPod handled music better and soon white headphones became a symbol of support and a fashion iCon symbolizing the Apple Brand.
The iPod owes much of its success to a music client called “iTunes”.
Porting iTunes into the Motorola Rokr demonstrated to Apple the potential of a digital media store. From the success of iTunes they would go on to launch the most popular smartphone iPhone and the amazing iPad.
This media store could handle Music, Applications, Video and lately Books and Magazines. It also served as a platform for developers to trade – in that, any developer could market their digital content like apps, music, books, software and so on. This was in the days when developers would launch software which would in a few days it would end up on torrent sites.
The integration of the iPod into a smartphone to create the iPhone helped drive its success even further as most of the industry turned their full attention on “iPhone Killing” leaving the iPod a clear field and hence the current smartphone battle.
Since then, the iPod has sub-divided itself in many form factors and sold over 1 billion units since the first launch of the iPod in October 2001. While the rest of the competition have gone after the iPhone, the iPod has evolved into a high-tech media player with a front facing/back camera and games console.
Fast forward 8 years later and the iPod Touch latest generation is almost at the level of a smartphone/games console and has the largest support for accessories example wireless speaker docks and applications.