On October 23, 2001, Steve Jobs walked onto the stage with a weird little box – claiming that your entire music library can now fit in your pocket. He called it a quantum leap in listening to music.
This was how Apple launched the iPod – a device that could hold a 1000 songs. And mind you, this came at a time when people were still dependent on CD’s for music!
The iPod launch presentation was so iconic that it’s discussed in many MBA classes as a masterclass for mesmerising audience during a product launch. Steve Jobs showed same amazing skill after few years in 2007 while launching the first ever iPhone. I had posted the two videos in an earlier blog post.
But after 21 years of existence and 400 million units, Apple has finally decided to discontinue its iPod line – and it truly marks the end of an era.
What led to this decision?
Well, the answer is in Apple’s USP itself. Innovation.
With smartphones becoming highly functional, people didn’t find it feasible to spend on another portable device just to listen to music.
Plus, the rise of popular music streaming services such as Spotify, Prime Music, and others, as well as their built-in features on smartphones, rendered purchasing an iPod obsolete.
Despite constant attempts at innovation, the product was gradually getting outshined by the company’s other devices, particularly the iPhone.
And that’s how the iPod transformed from being the go-to media player and an Apple bestseller – to basically non-existent.
But even with all its shortcomings, the iPod changed the content consumption game and remains one of the most iconic technological innovations in history. Music has always been at the heart of Apple, and the company will continue to provide rich music experiences across its product line via Apple Music.