The evolution of music-playing gadgets has a fascinating chronology. From the Edison Victrolas introduced in 1877 to the Discman used by Generation X to tune out the world, the devices we use to listen to what we love have gotten smaller and more feature-rich over time. Who’d have guessed in the 1990s that we’d be able to carry complete discographies in our pockets?
However, the introduction of Apple’s iPod made this conceivable. While not the first device designed to play MP3s, the iPod quickly established itself as a market leader with the release of the first-generation devices. When they were first available for sale on Saturday, November 10, 2001, they swept the music world by storm (via Life Wire).
The original model iPod had a very simple user interface that didn’t require any technical knowledge to use. Finally, there were two devices to select from 5GB and 10GB. With a storage capacity of 1,000 to 2,000 songs and a battery life of 10 hours, you could listen to the iPod all day and not hear almost every song you’d uploaded.
The two devices were priced at $399 and $499, respectively, with the 10GB variant costing more. Despite the high price, Apple was able to sell over 125,000 devices by the end of 2001. (via Apple Insider).
The first iPod was designed to be a lightweight device, weighing only 6.5 ounces. It was about the size of a deck of playing cards, measuring 4.02′′ × 2.43′′ x.78′′. A two-inch 160 x 128-pixel screen was situated atop a set of four buttons that surrounded a scrolling wheel on the device’s front. The user might scroll between various selections on the screen using this wheel. The four buttons that are surrounding the wheel were used to control the music’s playback.
The iPod went through several design revisions and upgrades before the final edition was released in September 2007. This sixth-generation MP3 player was manufactured for another seven years before being phased out by Apple in 2014.
The contrasts between Apple’s first and last generation players are staggering. The final iPod had a 160GB capacity and could store up to 40,000 songs in its memory, and it could also play video, which was displayed on a 2.5-inch 320 x 240-pixel screen. The battery life on this smaller, lighter iPod was substantially longer, allowing users to listen for up to 40 hours between charges.
It’s critical to comprehend how this tiny storage device aided in the development of Apple into the corporation it is today. The iPhone’s success and succeeding generations paved the path for Apple to design and market iPhones and iPads, completely altering the digital world. It’s simple to understand how one device bloated Apple’s bottom line, with sales eventually topping 350 million.