Today Apple is all about the iPhone and the Apple Watch, but there was a time when the vast majority of Apple's profits came from the sales of the iPod. In this throwback, we take a look back at the iPod, the piece of tech that gave us the iPhone and arguably the modern era smartphone. We throw in some other factual bits too…
The Original iPod
Apple unveiled its first-gen iPod in October 2001. Depending upon how well you can remember 2001, you may have forgotten that the original iPod wasn’t greeted with the buzz and excitement that we’ve become accustomed too. Instead, it was mostly met with quizzical looks and yawns from tech critics, perplexed as to why Apple was entering the MP3 market. The iPod not only catapulted Apple’s success to new heights, it arguably launched a digital music revolution and without the iPod, there would be no iPhone. Think about those apples.
Aside from the launch of the iPod, 2001 would also gives us Microsoft’s Xbox, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, and the man behind the musical masterpiece Mr Boombastic – Shaggy - would exclaim, “It wasn’t me”, giving all adulterers the theme tune they’d been crying out for. Surely a cultural highpoint.
In July 2002, Apple launched the second-gen iPod, which is important for two notable reasons. First, it introduced the touch-sensitive scroll wheel and second, it introduced a Windows-compatible iPod. Without this introduction, it’s arguable the iPod wouldn’t have been become the success it did.
Eminem expressed that one should “Lose Yourself”, and then promptly didn’t. Gutted. CBS tried to convince the world that Everybody Loves Raymond. Anyone with a sense of humour didn’t, disappointingly it went on to be a huge success with mouth breathers the world over.
If we’re talking about a musical revolution, then the third iteration of Apple’s iPod is key. In early 2003 Apple launched the iTunes Store, revolutionising the purchase of music, fundamentally changing how people buy music forever. The third-gen also introduced a dock-connector instead of the Mac-only FireWire, which meant ease of use for Windows users too.
In other news, Jessica Simpson was confused about where Buffalo wings came from asking, "Where do buffalo wings come from? Chickens or buffaloes?” on her reality TV show, Newlyweds. In other news relating to revolutions, the Wachoski’s and Keanu Reeves release The Matrix Reload and The Matrix Revolutions- the cinema going world promptly took the blue pill, collectively sighing with relief as they realised it had all been a horrid dream.
Apple’s fourth-gen iPod is arguably the most iconic, with its design becoming the ‘classic’ iPod design. This iPod would introduce the innovative click wheel – taken from the iPod Mini. It was this iPod that cemented Apple position as the market’s top MP3 player and it was here that Apple’s sales truly took off. 2004 also saw Apple release the iPod mini in five different colours.
In 2004, U2 would continue to make music and sadly James Blunt would release “You’re Beautiful” and ruin almost 80% of all weddings that year.
The fifth-gen iPod introduced the ability to play music, video and view photos on a display with a 320x240 resolution. 2005 also saw Apple introduce the iPod shuffle and the iPod Nano, the latter of which would replace the iPod Mini and go on to sell the most MP3 players EVER.
2005 would also see Tom Cruise declare his love for Katie Holmes by leaping on Oprah’s couch. His career would subsequently nose-dive.
In 2006 Apple more than doubled its sales of iPods (year on year), selling 88 million iPods. Apple promptly buys a lot of Chewits and goes on a sugar bender. Happy days.
In 2007 Apple released the iPod Classic, which was positioned as the music lover’s iPod with the higher-end model boasting a 160GB of storage space. However, 2007 Apple would also release the version of its iPhone, which would eventually supersede the iPod and render it redundant, with Apple ceasing production of the classic design in the Autumn of 2014.
2007 would also cement Toby Maguire’s Spider-Man trilogy as the definitive take on the superhero, with this strut…
Now that the iPod has effectively died and we're all sporting our shiny iPhone's a new problem has reared it's head - the iPod relied on headphones to work but your iPhone doesn't. So we're combatting this issue by ensuring you always have your earphones on you with our innovative iPhone case that holds headphones