An illustrated history of the iPod and its massive impact



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

To mark the occasion, 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.

Apple 1 Sold for $330k After Auction Close


Apple 1 Sale
Working Apple 1 from the November 2013 Breker auction.

On Saturday Cult of Mac reported that a working Apple 1 failed to sell at auction in Germany, a notable result in the growing market for vintage Apple collectibles. It turns out that result was premature: the Apple 1 did sell for €246,000 ($330,000), after bidding on the item had closed.


Steve Jobs Timeline for iOS.
Steve Jobs Timeline for iOS — rejected.

Apple’s 3rd Co-Founder Ron Wayne Reveals How He Threw Away Billions In His New Autobiography


Ronald Wayne, Apple's Third Founder
Ronald Wayne, Apple's Third Founder

You don’t hear all that much about Apple’s third founder, Ronald Wayne, and for good reason: he sold his stake in Apple just twelve days after the company was founded. It’d be worth $35 billion today. You might wonder what is going on in the head of a guy who made a blunder like that. Well, Wayne would like to tell you in his new autobiography, and… surprise… he doesn’t think he made a mistake at all!