With the launch of the Apple iPod in 2001, came a revolutionary product that completely wiped out its predecessor music players like the Sony Walkman series. Apple invented a new category of music players. The ability to put your player in your pocket and listen to music while on the go changed the way people interacted with their music players. Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs commented during the official launch of the iPod by saying, “With iPod, listening to music will never be the same again”.
It has been 10 years since the launch of the first generation of iPods. They have gone a long way and have seen considerable changes in both hardware, software and design parameters. We take a look a look at exactly how much impact has the iPod made on society in general and how much the consumer electronics industry has been affected.
Transformation of the music industry
iPod’s integrated software, iTunes is currently a multi-billion dollar online music store and database consisting of all kinds of record labels, music, tones, sound effects, and even video content imaginable. iTunes has pretty much destroyed the traditional music industry but if you look at it from a different perspective, it also has allowed greater copyright protection and a high quality music platform. One can argue that the iPod would be useless without the iTunes platform. The iPod can also be credited to impact the music industry shift from CD to MP3 format, which is not used as the default standard for music songs.
Opening up possibilities for accessories businesses
Large number of businesses in our society have profited thanks to the iPod and its extensive support for extra items along with the core product. Known as iPeripherals in the Apple fan base community, the collection of accessories include headphones, speakers, car sound kits, cases, skins and covers etc. Further integration with iPhone has created a strong and established system of upgrades and unique offerings. The compatibility feature is also very important, because it allows users to use their accessories with other Apple products like the iPad and iPhone.
Influence on Apple’s corporate image
With the advent of the iPod (and similar the iPhone and the iPad), consumers opinion in our society about the company changed as a whole. Apple was considered to be a computer manufacturing company, famous for Macintosh computers.
The Macintosh, despite its success and popularity was always going to be a niche product. The iPod was different. It was for everyone in the society. Music is for everyone. The iPod is one of the many reasons Apple now is so widely known across the World.
The Iconic Design
The iPod’s design is iconic. It looks like something taken right from a futuristic Sci-Fi movie. It is simple, sleek and at the same time sophisticated. 10 years on, the original design still looks as something very fresh and modern. One can even say that the design of the iPod is what inspired the company to create the iPhone and iPad. The impact of the simple concept of the iPod can be seen integrated into other Apple products.
Apple is still going on strong with its iPod models, with the iPod touch being as its latest offering. However the question remains regarding its existence 10 years on. How long will it be able to distinguish itself from the iPhone and iPad before completely vanishing into oblivion? Only time will tell.