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Happy Birthday, iPod!

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Saw a great article today in PC World about the 5-year anniversary of the iPod. Here's a few of the learnings 5 years later, and there's a fun clip at the end of the official announcement of the digital music device. I love my Nano ...

4. Small is reliably beautiful. The first iPod wasn't the original hard disk-based music player--Creative's Nomad Jukebox was pretty cool for its time--but it was the first one that comfortably fit into your pocket. And Apple has been smart to continually release iPods that are thinner and smaller than those before them. There's never been a time when even impressive players from other companies haven't tended to look chunky, and therefore clunky, compared to their Apple competition--and it's hard for any electronics device to come off as cooler than something that's similar but skinnier. Whether Apple can or will continue to shrink the iPod, I don't know, but I'm not aware of anything in the works that aims to out-svelte it, especially considering that the Zune isn't exactly wafer-thin...

5. Technological races are never, ever over. If, prior to the iPod, you'd asked me what company would dominate digital music, I might have guessed Creative or Rio. Or maybe Sony or Samsung. I might even have mentioned Microsoft. I wouldn't have mentioned Apple, though, and neither would have almost anyone else. (Here's a Macworld article from 2001 rounding up initial pundit response to the iPod; it was, at best, mixed. And if anyone had predicted that the thing would be not simply one of the most successful consumer electronics products of all time but a social phenomenon, he or she would probably have been drummed out of the National Pundit League for irrational exuberance.)

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:30 AM |

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