Today in Apple history: iPods take to the skies


The first iPod went from pitch to shipped product in 7 months
Goodbye, in-flight magazines!
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

November 14: Today in Apple history: Apple partnerships land iPods in airplanes for use with in-flight entertainment systems November 14, 2006: Apple teams up with a slew of airlines to offer the “first seamless integration” between iPods and in-flight entertainment systems.

A special dock would let iPod owners play music and videos on planes’ seat-back displays. The plan promises to rid the world of old-fashioned in-flight movies and airline magazines.

Today in Apple history: Apple puts 1,000 songs in your pocket with first-gen iPod


Today in Apple history: Apple puts 1,000 songs in your pocket with first-gen iPod
Introduced on this day in 2001, the iPod quickly became a cultural phenomenon.
Photo: Newsweek

October 23: Today in Apple history: Apple puts 1,000 songs in your pocket with first-gen iPod launch October 23, 2001: Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduces the first iPod, a device capable of holding an entire music library in a highly portable package.

The first-generation device boasts a 5GB hard drive capable of storing “1,000 songs in your pocket.” That may not sound too dazzling in a world in which people can stream the massive Apple Music library from their iPhones. But it was a game-changer at the time!

Today in Apple history: Apple offers ice water to Windows users in hell


On this day in 2003, Steve Jobs revealed his plan to bring iTunes to Windows.
Photo: Apple

October 16: Today in Apple history: iTunes Music Store comes to Windows October 16, 2003: Six months after opening the iTunes Music Store for Mac owners, Apple expands the service to cover Windows PCs as well.

Steve Jobs later quips that making iTunes available to Windows owners is akin to “giving a glass of ice water to somebody in hell.”

Apple’s last iPod nano goes ‘vintage’ later this month


It's almost the end of the line for the last iPod nano.
Photo: Apple

The seventh-generation iPod nano, Apple’s last model, will be added to the company’s list of “vintage” products later this month.

First introduced in 2015, the device was marketed as the thinnest iPod ever, with the ability to connect to Bluetooth headphones and speakers, a built-in FM radio tuner, and a 2.5-inch color display.

Apple helped US government turn iPods into possible stealth Geiger counters


Bye-pod: Apple boots app that turns iPhone into an iPod Classic
It's like a mashup of Apple and James Bond.
Photo: QC Dads/Twitter

Apple teamed up with the U.S. government to build a modified iPod that might have been a stealth Geiger counter for detecting and measuring ionizing radiation, claims former Apple software engineer David Shayer.

In an article for TidBits, Shayer — who left Apple in 2015 — described the secret project as a “special assignment” only known to about four people at Apple. It was his job to assist two engineers working for a U.S. defense contractor to the Department of Energy.

Today in Apple history: iPod gets a new Click Wheel


The fourth-generation iPod brought key improvements like the Click Wheel, but still left some people disappointed.
The fourth-generation iPod brought key improvements, but still left some people disappointed.
Photo: National Museum of American History Smithsonian Institution/Flickr CC

July 19: Today in Apple history: Fourth-generation iPod gets Click Wheel interface July 19, 2004: The fourth-generation iPod brings neat innovations to the popular audio device, including the Click Wheel interface recently introduced on the iPod mini.

“The best digital music player just got better,” says Steve Jobs on the day the product launches. And yet some people feel disappointed.

Today in Apple history: Bill Gates predicts doom for Apple’s biggest product


Unfortunately for Gates, Steve Jobs was one step ahead.
Photo: 60 Minutes

May 12: Today in Apple history: Bill Gates predicts doom for iPod, Apple's biggest product May 12, 2005: Longtime Apple frenemy Bill Gates tells a German newspaper that Apple may have hit it big with the iPod, but that its success isn’t going to last forever.

The reason? Mobile phones are going to steal the iPod’s market share. The good news for Gates is that he was right on the money. The bad news for Microsoft is that Apple cannibalized itself by making the iPhone. And Apple’s smartphone became even more successful than the iPod.

50 Cent says he talked Steve Jobs into paying him to promote the iPod


iPod product placement 1
This closeup reportedly cost Apple six figures.
Photo: 50 Cent

Rapper 50 Cent claims that he personally pitched Steve Jobs on paying him $150,000 to promote the iPod in his 2003 music video for the hit song “P.I.M.P.”

“You think you could sell an iPod? I could sell an iPod,” 50 recalled telling Jobs in a recent interview. “Jimmy [Iovine] will tell you, in that 10 minutes that I sat there, I got [Jobs] to give me $150,000. [It was] the first time Apple did product placement in anything, any music video.”

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iPhone 8 iPad Macbook
Sell today to earn even more!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

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