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Today in Apple history: iTunes cracks top 10 on list of US music retailers

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iTunespic
What was your first ever iTunes music download?
Photo: Apple

November 22: Today in Apple history: iTunes becomes one of top 10 U.S. music retailers November 22, 2005: Two-and-a-half years after opening its virtual doors, the iTunes Music Store enters the list of top 10 U.S. music retailers.

While iTunes sales numbers can’t yet match the selling power of established retail giants like Walmart, Best Buy and Circuit City (or fellow tech company Amazon), this milestone nonetheless represents big news for Apple — and digital music sales as a whole.

Today in Apple history: iTunes bags its first exclusive movie

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The producers of Purple Violets took a gamble on iTunes movie distribution.
The producers of Purple Violets take a gamble on iTunes movie distribution.
Photo: Wild Ocean Films

November 20: Today in Apple history: iTunes movie distribution begins with Purple Violets, the first film to launch on iTunes November 20, 2007: In a milestone for iTunes movie distribution, Purple Violets becomes the first feature film to launch exclusively on Apple’s platform.

A romantic comedy directed by Edward Burns, Purple Violets stars Selma Blair, Debra Messing and Patrick Wilson. With limited offers from Hollywood’s traditional players, the filmmakers pin their hopes on iTunes distribution as an alternative way to get their movie in front of viewers.

Today in Apple history: iPods take to the skies

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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 will 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: iTunes sales hit astonishing new heights

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iTunespic
iTunes coming to Windows proved a smart move for Apple.
Photo: Apple

November 6: Today in Apple history: After porting iTunes to Windows, iTunes sales hit 1.5 million downloads in one week November 6, 2003: After porting iTunes to Windows, Apple sets a new record for digital music sales: a massive 1.5 million downloads in one week.

Bringing iTunes to PC users opens up a new, lucrative market for Apple. The record-breaking sales clock in at five times more than the 300,000 downloads Napster (remember it?) achieved in its debut week. And 1.5 million is double the 600,000 iTunes downloads per week Apple reported selling to Mac users prior to the Windows release.

Today in Apple history: Fortune names Steve Jobs ‘CEO of the decade’

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Steve
Steve Jobs was rounding out a brilliant 10 years at Apple.
Photo: Stanford University

November 5: Today in Apple history: Fortune magazine names Steve Jobs CEO of the decade November 5, 2009: Fortune magazine names Steve Jobs “CEO of the decade.” The accolade comes just four months after Jobs returned to Apple after undergoing a liver transplant.

The business publication credits Jobs with transforming multiple industries, as well as continuing Apple’s meteoric rise. These achievements seem particularly noteworthy considering the tough economic conditions of the 2008 financial crash.

Today in Apple history: Time crowns iPhone ‘invention of the year’

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TIMEcover
The iPhone was immediately recognized as a breakthrough device.
Photo: Time

November 1: Today in Apple history: Time magazine crowns the iPhone 2007's 'invention of the year' November 1, 2007: Six months after Steve Jobs showed it off, the original iPhone becomes Time magazine’s “best invention of the year.”

The iPhone stands out from the rest of 2007’s gadget pack, which includes the Nikon Coolpix S51c digital camera, the Netgear SPH200W Wi-Fi Phone and the Samsung P2 music player. Remember those? (Yeah, we thought not.)

Today in Apple history: iTunes video takes world by storm

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Kanye West
Artists like Kanye West helped drive music video downloads past 1 million in less than 20 days.
Photo: Rodrigo Ferrari/Flickr CC

October 31: Today in Apple history: iTunes video takes world by storm October 31, 2005: Less than three weeks after launching video downloads with iTunes 6, Apple reveals that it has already sold more than 1 million music videos.

Apple’s dive into the online digital video market — with 2,000 music videos, Pixar short films and a selection of hit TV shows for $1.99 — looks like the logical next step after selling individual songs on iTunes. Passing the 1 million download benchmark so quickly suggests the plan is a roaring success.

Today in Apple history: iPhone goes on sale in China for first time

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iPhone 3GS
The iPhone 3GS arrives in China, without Wi-Fi.
Photo: Apple

October 30: Today in Apple history: iPhone goes on sale in China for first time October 30, 2009: Two years after launching in the United States, the iPhone finally goes on sale in China, giving Apple a chance to reach the world’s largest market.

A number of regulatory hurdles previously blocked Apple’s access to China, including restrictions on Wi-Fi functionality. With those problems solved, Apple offers the iPhone 3GS to the country’s 1.3 billion people, most of whom do not yet own smartphones.

Today in Apple history: iPod Photo brings color display to music machine

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The iPod Photo brought us one step closer to the iPhone.
The iPod Photo brought us one step closer to the iPhone.
Photo: Apple

October 26: Today in Apple history: iPod Photo launch brings color display to music machine October 26, 2004: Apple debuts its iPod Photo, a device capable of putting not just 15,000 songs in your pocket, but also 25,000 photographs.

It is the first iPod to offer a color screen and the ability to display digital images and album cover art. The iPod Photo represents a big step forward in the functionality of Apple’s iconic music player.