Today, October 23rd is National iPod Day. In late 2001, the very first iPod was made public. Apple cleverly spotted the rise of digital music and the lack of a suitable piece of hardware. For this reason alone, they developed a hard drive based MP3 player. As with their recent computer models, Apple was strategic in the way they designed and marketed their product. From the very start, the iPod was given a sleek, sexy look and its target market was the young, style continuous, and music enthusiasts. Apple created a superb brand with an all-white look, with the white earphones being featured prominently in advertisements.
The real outbreak for the iPod happened when Apple launched the 3rd generation iPod in 2003. These units came bundled with Apple’s own iTunes software that was compatible on both Macs and Windows PCs. This opened up a whole new market as they could now tap into the Windows users. To this day, Apple has a an impressive 90% market share of the hard drive based Mp3 player market, and 70% share of the MP3 player market as a whole.
Apple has managed to keep their grip on the mp3 player market by releasing various versions of the iPod. The main iPod is now in its 5th generation and although the design is quite similar to the original, it has been made more compact and available with much larger storage capacities. The latest models can display color photos, even movies.
Apple’s first iPod spin off was the iPod mini. This mp3 player was fairly similar to the original although smaller in size. It was the first iPod to be available in different colors and was designed to target a slightly different market.
Apple decided to discontinue the mini in 2005, to replace it with the ultra-small iPod nano. These units are 62% smaller than the mini players and feature colored screens.
This is another ultra-small iPod and was the first flash drive based iPod. They only have a limited capacity of 512MB or 1GB and do not have a display screen. Users can either listen to the songs on the player in a random order or set a playlist in iTunes.
Apple unveiled the fifth generation on September 12, 2012. Improvements include a IPS display, 4-inch screen similar to the iPhone 5, Apple’s A5 chip, support for recording 1080p video and panoramic still photos via the rear camera, an LED flash, and support for Apple’s Siri since the iPhone 4S. Unlike older models though, this generation does not have an ambient light sensor.
The dominance of the iPod in the mp3 player market can be seen in other industries. In fact, cars are now being designed with docking ports to make it easier to integrate iPods to the in car system. Even clothes manufacturers are designing clothes with special pockets just to hold iPods. All manner of other iPod accessories are being created by various electronics companies.
So for National iPod day, let’s also take a moment to remember Steve Jobs, co–founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. Thanks to him, we have our favorite tunes at the touch of our fingers right in our pocket.