Apple iPod celebrates 12th birthday; success of the device started Apple on the road to the iPhone

Apple iPod celebrates 12th birthday; success of the device started Apple on the road to the iPhone
Two particular events might have been the impetus behind Steve Jobs' decision to develop the Apple iPhone. One was the introduction of the Motorola ROKR E1 which was also known as the iTunes phone because of the ability of the handset to sync with it. If you've ever seen the video of the phone's introduction, you can see the frustration on Steve Jobs' face when the device fails to work as he wants it to. Some will pick out that exact moment as the conception of one of the most important consumer products ever devised. You can check out that historic moment by clicking on the video below.

The second event that led to the introduction of the Apple iPhone actually occurred a little less than two years before the Motorola handset was introduced. On November 10th 2001, Apple unveiled the very first Apple iPod. The first few months, the enhanced MP3 player could connect to iTunes only via a Mac. Priced at $399, the first iPod had a 128 x 160 "high-resolution display" and was packed with 5GB of storage. 1000 songs could be kept on the device. Phil Schiller, Apple's vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing predicted that the device would be a hot seller for the holidays. During the fourth quarter of that year, Apple sold 125,000 units.

Two years later, 1 million iPods were shipped and that number soared to 4.4 million the very next year. By the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2005, Apple shipped 22.5 million units with another 39.4 million sold by the same point the following year. By the time the first Apple iPhone was sold, Apple had cumulative sales of the device that exceeded 100 million iPods and iTunes was a library with 5 million songs. The success of this product gave Apple the confidence to take on a more complicated mobile phone industry. The iPod helped Apple build mobile devices and cement relationships for parts, distribution and marketing of Cupertino's iconic smartphone. In other words, the iPod helped Apple learn how to create, manufacture and sell a mobile product.

We can't say that had there been no iPod, the iPhone would never had existed. Jobs' frustration with the ROKR E1 pretty much proves that. But without the success of the iPod, the iPhone might have been different. It almost certainly would have taken longer to develop. As it is, iPhone users can thank the iPod for its contribution to the development of a product that did change the mobile phone industry forever. Happy 12th Birthday, Apple iPod!



source: AppleInsider

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21 Comments

1. Yubnub

Posts: 100; Member since: May 23, 2013

Happy birthday!

2. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

Ya but the itunes phone was just a glorified Motorala Silver.

3. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

My iPod Video broke back in 2008. I miss that shiny black plate and the game Bricks. :'(

6. Sauce unregistered

Best toilet time game ever. Man do I miss it!

10. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

My Classic 120GB is still going (after replacing the battery and hard drive back in '09). If not for iTunes & their (lack of) customer support I might still be an Apple fan.

21. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

my 2nd gen ipod broke then my uncle bought me a new ipod video 3rd gen broke after two years. NEVER AGAIN BUY APPLE PRODUCTS don't seem to last long. Then i went with ZUNE HD had it for 4 years then swit h to SONY WALKMAN Z Android mp3 player and they were both way MUCH BETTER than the Ipod.

4. xtroid2k

Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010

I think if Steve jobs was still around we wouldn't have had such a craptacular ios7. But then we still would be stuck with skeumorphism so oh well.

7. improv

Posts: 96; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

Get over it..

8. woodshop20

Posts: 459; Member since: Sep 14, 2013

Skeumorphism looks better than the bright, oversimplified icons of IOS 7.

5. alterecho

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

0:44 to 0:53 Steve jobs promoting features of another device, not made by Apple.

9. ilia1986 unregistered

One thing apple actually did relatively well.

11. jacko1977

Posts: 428; Member since: Feb 11, 2012

Apple iPod celebrates 12th birthday; success of the device started Apple on the road to the iPhone - after they stole android

12. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

oDrop the act and cut the sass doofus

13. quakan

Posts: 1418; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

Android was going to steal Blackberry's software, then they saw iOS and decided they would steal that instead.

14. ilia1986 unregistered

Android didn't steal jack sh!t.

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Sure they (being google) did, and so did apple, Samsung, moto, HTC, Nokia, and the rest of em. Stop this android kiss up stuff, and open your eyes dude. I'll admit android is driving innovation more than anyone at this point, but this android didn't steal jack s**t crap is just that. Why do you think MS is getting paid by google? Wake up dude, when you were an apple guy, you were awake. Now you've become just another one sided fanboy, and you're right android didn't steal, it's just software, but it's makers sure did. SMDH

16. quesoesgrande

Posts: 217; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

Let's just say that no one in mobile space has their hands clean. Not a single one of them. However, that's good. Innovation happens when people take the ideas of another and add theyre own new ideas.

17. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

100% agreed. Very good post +1

18. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1770; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

There are however some that "add" more than others...

19. cornerofthemoon

Posts: 619; Member since: Apr 20, 2010

I wish Apple would make an updated version of the iPod classic, perhaps with Bluetooth and wifi sync.....Probably aint gonna happen though.

20. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

yea, doubt it will happen. They will push the Ipod Touch devices instead with the Icloud services.

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