Apple forgot to celebrate iPod’s 15th birthday

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Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Was it really 15 years ago?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

An important anniversary passed this weekend, but you’d have been hard-pressed to remember based on the lack of recognition it received from Apple.

That milestone event was the 15th anniversary of the iPod, the portable music player that squeezed 1,000 songs into our pockets, sold upwards of 350 million units, and — up until the iPhone — was the best-known product in Apple history.

An illustrated history of the iPod and its massive impact

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Editor’s note: This weekend was the 15th anniversary of the iPod, the humble digital music player that reshaped Apple.

To mark the occasssion, Cult of Mac is republishing this illustrated history of the iPod — put together to celebrate the device’s 10th anniversary, and originally published on Oct. 22 2011.

An Illustrated History of the iPod

The iPod grew out of Steve Jobs’ digital hub strategy. Life was going digital. People were plugging all kinds of devices into their computers: digital cameras, camcorders, MP3 players. The computer was the central device, the “digital hub,” that could be used to edit photos and movies or manage a large music library. Jobs tasked Apple’s programmers with making software for editing photos, movies and managing digital music. While they were doing this, they discovered that all the early MP3 players were horrible. Jobs asked his top hardware guy, Jon Rubinstein, to see if Apple could do better.

Today in Apple history: iPod shows it has life after iPhone

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Apple released three new iPods, including the first iPod touch, nine years ago today.
Photo: Apple

5SeptSeptember 5: Apple introduces its first new iPods after the release of the iPhone, with the third-gen iPod Nano, newly-renamed iPod Classic, and — most significantly — the debut of the iPod touch.

In doing so, it sets out to demonstrate that there is still plenty of life left in Apple’s iconic portable music player.

Today in Apple history: iPod touch is ‘iPhone without the phone’

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The fourth-gen iPod touch closed the gap between iPod and iPhone.
Photo: Apple

Sept 1September 1, 2010: Apple announces its fourth-generation iPod touch, a version of the portable music player which closes the gap between the iPod touch and the iPhone.

Along with being thinner than ever, the fourth-gen iPod touch’s main innovations include a redesigned form factor, Retina display, FaceTime calling via WiFi, HD video recording, and the same A4 chip found in the iPhone at the time.