There’s been a lot of Apple retrospectives media-wide over the last couple of weeks, following the sad and untimely death of renowned innovator Steve Jobs – but yesterday marked another particular date in the Apple/digital tech calendar which will be remembered for altogether more pleasant reasons. October 23rd marked the tenth anniversary of the iPod.
It’s the mark of a truly great product that – in the years that follow – it becomes impossible to remember what life was like without it. Those old enough to recall the Walkman are astonished that they could ever consume their music via such a low-tech abomination, while the modern youth find such old campfires impossible to believe (check out this hilarious BBC article in which a 13-year-old is given the task of operating an original-model Walkman). Although who’s betting that a bunch of Greenwich Village hipsters will soon relaunch the portable cassette player as a fashionable ‘retro’ accessory?
Here’s a video of the much-missed Steve presenting the iPod for the first time at a low key launch, back before anyone had any idea that 320 million unit sales were scheduled for the upcoming decade:
(One quick observation – is that Comic Sans being used by Apple in a presentation? Can you imagine them doing that now?)
The most interesting thing about this anniversary is looking back at the initial fan response. Take a look at this messageboard thread from the day the iPod was launched. There’s a few choice nuggets to be found, such as:
It wont sell, and be killed off in a short time…and it’s not really functional.
I still can’t believe this! All this hype for something so ridiculous! Who cares about an MP3 player? I want something new! I want them to think differently! Why oh why would they do this?! It’s so wrong! It’s so stupid!
Hey – here’s an idea Apple – rather than enter the world of gimmicks and toys, why don’t you spend a little more time sorting out your pathetically expensive and crap server line up?
Erm … thanks for your input, chaps. In the meantime, what do you lot think of the iPod anniversary? Did the little white box change your life for the better?