The Web never forgets

What people said about the iPod when it was first announced | Edible Apple

[Via Edible Apple]

Given the perplexing backlash and seeming hatred being directed at the iPad, we thought it’d be somewhat instructive to go back in time and take a look at what some people were saying about the iPod when Steve Jobs first announced Apple’s first MP3 player back in October, 2001. When first released, the original iPod cost $399, came with a 5GB hard drive, was FireWire equipped, and had 10 hours of battery life. Still, many people at the time considered it too expensive while others were utterly unimpressed. Put simply, there’s a reason why Apple doesn’t let its customer base drive their product line.


It is really fun to read historical naysayers and see just how off they are. Their excuses indicate that they just did not understand what the iPod was nor why people would want it. Simply because it was not what THEY wanted or did not fit THEIR market needs, it was a failure.

I guess its success must look like magic to them, or some sort of conspiracy. They most likely can not fathom that there is a rational reason. They did not see the ecosystem it fit into, how iTunes would drive its success and how, ultimately, the iPod is not what people saw but a way to ‘handle’ their music without having to see a piece of hardware. The iPod disappeared when music was being listened to. That is a hard problem to solve for most hardware makers who really do not want their product to disappear when someone is using it. They fear that people will lose any loyalty.

With Apple products, I can just do what I need to without thinking about the hardware itself. Or even the software most times. There is almost a seamless quality between cause and effect – what I want to do and what gets done. The computer, iPod, iPhone seldom intrudes.

Not so on many other devices. When I work on a PC, I always know I am on a computer and often feel as though there is a barrier between me and what I want to do. Same with most cell phones, audio equipment, etc. The hardware often blocks what I want to do.

That is why I feel confident that when the iPad is released, I can do all sorts of things. If I want to read, I will be able to read. If I want to browse, I will browse. I won’t be configuring things or reading manuals in order to use the device.

Apple’s real success has been its invisibility.