23rd October 2001
Launch time! This was the date Apple took the plunge into the MP3 market and launched the first generation iPod in what’s now referred to as the iPod’s classic family. Apple’s main unique selling point was that you literally had 1,000 songs being carri
ed around in your pocket, which at the time seemed out of this world. It was almost unfathomable, having direct access to all that music right there on your very person. They also played on the fact that their product was smaller than their competitors’, largely due to the hard disk being smaller.
A Simple Interface
Perhaps the iPod is most well-known for its wheel navigation system right in the center of the unit. It had Apple’s creativity all over it – different, easy to use and memorable. But essentially it was incredibly user-friendly. The mechanical scroll wheel was a very clever innovation as it made for very intuitive ease of access.
Fast Product Expansion
Within only one year, the original iPod had probably felt like a dwarf, after Apple decided to release larger 10GB and 20GB models for even more storage capacity and even more music at your fingertips. There’s no doubt this had always been the plan and perhaps it left the previously excited owners of the very first iPod slightly aggravated as they no longer had the latest version of the music player.
Not only did they increase the memory size, but Apple was already pushing to move the iPod into the PDA-like arena with adding features into the updates such as calendar information and contacts, as well as limited gaming functionality.
It’s fascinating looking back on the original iPod compared to the current equivalents of iPod Touch, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle – the changes have been huge. However, you can still see the core style and fundamentals from the original in the modern versions.