Normally, this post would have been released on Thursday. Due to life, I will not be posting on Thursdays, at least until summer. I will figure out a different schedule for the time being.

In 2001 Apple inc. launched the original iPod. This was a completely new direction for Apple who, up to that point, only manufactured computers. The iPod exceeded what all expectations, becoming the leading portable music device in the world and became Apple’s largest product in terms of sales.  The iPod has revolutionized portable music, but it was not always as it was now.

2001 – It all kicked off in October 2001, when apple introduced the original iPod. This iPod cost around $400 USD, had 5 GB of storage capacity, and a mechanical scroll wheel. It had a physical hard drive (no flash at this point), but was only compatible with Macintosh computers, and a firewire connection had to be used. This limitation, along with the price, turned quite a few would-be customers off.

2002 – In March of 2002, Apple introduced the 10 GB model of it’s revolutionary product, this model ran buyers $499 USD. 

In June Apple unveiled the second generation of its product. This came in 5 GB ($299) 10 GB ($399) and 20 GB ($499) models. In addition, the 10 and 20 GB models got a scrolling wheel that, instead of being mechanical (which was easy to break) was sensitive to touch.

2003 – In April Apple released the 3rd generation of the iPod. This iPocame in 10 GB ($299) 15 GB ($399) and 30 GB ($499) models. All buttons were now touch sensitive. And the buttons were relocated to over the scroll wheel instead of around it. This model also introduced full compatibility with Windows, as well as a removal of the firewire connection in favor of USB.

Also, in this year, Apple released the iTunes store, which sold over 1 million songs in its first week, which greatly increased iPod sales.

In October, Apple released a 20 GB model (replacing the 15 GB) and a 40 GB model (replacing the 30 GB). In this year, iTunes for PC was also released, doing away with MusicMatch, which is what was being used to synch iPods on Windows machines.

2004 – In January Apple expanded it’s iPod line with the introduction of the iPod mini. The iPod Mini was smaller and slimmer then the iPod, came in different collors, but had only 4 GB of storage space. Apple also replaced the 10 GB model of the original iPod with a 15 GB model.

In June, Apple released the 4th generation iPod. This iPod came in 20 ($299) and 40 GB ($399). This also included better battery life (12 hours) and a click wheel control system (touch sensitive scroll wheel with buttons on it). Although it was cheaper then would be expected, it was soon discovered that many accessories that normally would come with an iPod were not included with these models.

In October, Apple debut the new iPod photo. This was simply an iPod with a color screen that could display photos and album art. It came in 40 GB ($499) and 60 GB ($599) models. It was slightly thicker, but had a color screen and the option to display photos on a television through a dock connector. The accessories that were removed in the previous model also appeared again with these models.

This is part one of my series on the history of iPods. You can read part 2 here and part 3 here!


Categories: Internet Music, Other