October 24, 2011 · 0 Comments
The device was generally greeted with a yawn by the mainstream tech community.
One reviewer said it would be a “nice feature” for Mac users but that it wouldn’t make a lick of difference in the Windows world (which was basically the whole world).
Of course, as we now know, the iPod actually started a gadget revolution, one that eventually led to the iPhone and iPad and to Apple’s unseating Microsoft as the most valuable tech company in the world.
The iPod has come a long way since its launch. The device Steve Jobs showed off 10 years ago promised “1,000 songs in your pocket” for $400.
(Note: This timeline and the slides that follow were created by Dan Frommer. I’ve modified the intro and end.).
The first iPod was a boxy, white plastic-and-stainless steel gadget — about the size of a deck of cards — with a small, black-and-white screen and a FireWire port on top. And it wasn’t cheap: $399 for 5 GB of capacity. But its spinning wheel interface was new and fun, and helped the iPod become a huge hit.
Steve Jobs unveiled the iPod at a press conference in Cupertino, Calif., with the slogan, “1,000 songs in your pocket.” (And a surprising 20 minutes of anti-skip technology.) The gadget launched with a goofy commercial.
Here’s a video of Steve unveiling the iPod for the first time:
At Macworld weather.info/home/index.cfm?city=New%20York%20City,%20NY,%20United%20States&latlon=40.71427,-74.00597&u=c”>New York, Steve Jobs unveiled the next generation of iPod players — minor hardware updates — and cut the price on the original model to $299.
New 10 GB ($399) and 20 GB ($499) models were introduced with touch-sensitive scroll wheels and a wired remote. It was also the first time Windows users could buy iPods, but because Apple didn’t have iTunes for Windows back then, it shopped with MUSICMATCH Jukebox, an inferior third-party app later acquired by Yahoo.
Apple showed off its third-generation iPods — its first total redesign — sporting a “stunning enclosure that is lighter and thinner than two CDs.” The company also unveiled the iTunes music store, which went on to sell more than 1 million songs in its first week.
The solid-state, no-moving-part controls were sleek, but Apple eventually discontinued them in favor of a “click” wheel that provided more feedback. (As an owner of this device, I found it too easy to press the wrong buttons, especially in your pocket.)
The 10 GB launched at $299, 15 GB for $399, and 30 GB for $499. In September, Apple upgraded the more expensive iPods to 20 GB and 40 GB.
By Emma Brown