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On October 23, 2001, Steve Jobs announced that Apple was venturing into the field of music and unveiled the very first iPod in a small room. Although the reaction from the crowd was positive, there was a whole lot less fanfare than today’s release events have.
“Why music?” Jobs asked in his introduction. “Well, we love music, and it’s always good to do something you love. More importantly, music is a part of everyone’s life. Everyone! Music’s been around forever; it will always be around. This is not a speculative market.”
20 years on, Apple’s pocket digital music and media player has evolved through multiple generations, designs, functions, and styles, such as the Mini, Nano, Shuffle, and Touch models, and inspired some of Apple’s greatest products, including the iPhone and iPad.
Apple die-hards likely remember and may even still own several of the many iPod iterations. In honor of the 20th anniversary of the initial product launch, let’s take a look at the timeline of the iPod’s colorful life.
October: “An iBook is really portable,” Jobs boasted at the iPod unveiling, “but this is ultra-portable!” At 6.5 ounces, 2.4 inches wide, four inches tall, and made with barely over ¾-inch thick stainless steel, the first iPod ($399) was designed to be the size of a deck of cards and hold $1,000 songs. Users navigated songs with a mechanical scroll wheel on a monochrome LCD display and had a 5GB hard drive that filled up using a FireWire port.
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