Monday, October 31, 2011

10 Years of Redefining the Music Industry

Apple’s “iPod” is this generation’s “mp3 player” – that’s without a doubt.

October 2001 was the start of something new. Ten years ago, Steve Jobs ushered in a portable music player that changed the game play of all other mp3 player manufacturers. It was not as if an mp3 player was new at that time. It was because the iPod became the first version of the certain device that offers space for 1,000 songs and more or less 10 hours of battery life. Add to that its size that could fit in our pockets.

During that time, many people had a lot of questions on why Apple was getting into mp3 players even if their job as a computer maker was still struggling. But due to its modern template and great user experience, the iPod slowly made its own niche in the market.

Macintosh users were early adapters of the iPod, while the majority of computer users on Windows back then didn’t find it to be worth buying. Thankfully, Apple included the left-out audience in 2003 by introducing the iTunes Music Store to both platforms.

Since then, sales of the different iPod variations have had its lows and peaks, but still continuously existed given the fact that smartphones were starting to highlight music player as one the great features available in devices. To date, Apple has sold more than 300 million iPods.

Apple had to fight with several competitors such as Creative, Rio, and even the popular Sony Walkman. With the right strategy and marketing of the iPod Touch, iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle, and iPod Classic that helped position the brand into different price gaps, Apple’s own iPod still reigns king. In fact, other companies had to close outright, such as Dell’s DJ line, Rio, and the most-recent Zune.

Ultimately, the iPod’s groundbreaking contribution to our generation is its stepping stone to becoming one of today’s most successful and richest companies in the world. It can be said that people’s love for the iPod grew exponentially and has really made a way for Macintosh computers to be more visible again. In addition, Apple’s good reputation in the iPod has led the public to anticipate and love the iPhone and iPad.

The iPod’s dominance has also contributed to the huge success of the iTunes, which is now considered to be the largest source of music in the United States. It has been so not because of its copy protection, but due to it awesome ecosystem where consumers could easily, legally obtain music and videos.

The iPod has since evolved from having its signature click wheel control into touchscreens, where different applications, uses, and features were also added. Apple is closely catching up to be on top of the OS race, and we can largely attribute that to the success that iPod created. Even though Steve Jobs is with the Creator now, we remember and thank him alongside Tony Fadell, Job Rubinstein, Jonathan Ive, and other key executives for redefining the music industry since 2001 and beyond.

I had my first iPod in 2008. When did you have yours? 

This article is my 38th contribution to Manila Bulletin -- one of the Philippines' leading broadsheets -- published on October 31, 2011 (Monday) in the TechNews Section. You can view the PDF version here.

Photo Source: Google Images


I had my touch in 2010 then sold it. Then last February I bought a shuffle. I am excited what's coming next! ;)

A Touch for a Shuffle? That's kinda a big switch ah. How come?

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