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Apple iPod

Carroll Gantz
Ive, Jonathon

In 2000, digital music players were either big and clunky or small and useless with terrible user interfaces. Apple saw an opportunity and introduced its first portable music player. The iPod was the first MP3 player to hold 1,000 songs and 5 gigabytes of data. It weighed only 6.5 ounces and was powered by a rechargeable lithium battery that enabled ten hours of continuous playback. At $400, critics thought it was too expensive, lacked Windows compatibility, and disliked the unconventional scroll wheel. Despite this, it sold beyond expectations and went on to revolutionize the entire music industry. Designed by an Apple project team, including industrial designer Jonathan Ive, it was a year in development after ordered by Steve Jobs. The name iPod was inspired by the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which the phrase ‘open the pod bay door, Hal,’ referred to the white EVA Pods of the Discovery One spaceship. The iPod was awarded a gold IDEA award in 2002, and by 2007, sales of various models, including Classic (2004), Mini (2004), Nano (2006), Shuffle (2005) and Touch (2007), exceeded 50 million units.

100 Years of Design includes excerpts from a book by Carroll M. Gantz, FIDSA, entitled, Design Chronicles: Significant Mass-produced Designs of the 20th Century, published August 2005 by Schiffer Publications, Ltd.
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