Farewell to iPod – New York Times

The iPod started with a small goal: Let’s create a music device that makes people want to buy more Macintosh computers. In a few years, it will transform the consumer electronics and music industry and make Apple the most profitable company in the world.

First arriving in October 2001, the pocket features a white face and polished steel frame weighing 6.5 ounces. It came packed with white earrings in custom colors, moon gray, and held 1,000 songs.

It exploded in popularity in the following years, creating what became known as the iPod generation. Throughout the 2000s, people traveled around the world, with headphones dangling from their ears. The iPod is ubiquitous.

On Tuesday, Apple spoke positively about all of that. The company announced that it has cut off production of its iPod touch, putting an end to two decades of products that have inspired the iPhone and helped turn Silicon Valley into the centerpiece. international trade.

Since the introduction of the iPod in 2001, Apple has sold approximately 450 million of them, according to Loup Ventures, a company specializing in technology research. It sold about three million iPods last year, part of the approximately 250 million iPhones it sold.

Apple has reassured consumers that music will be available, mostly beyond the iPhone, which it introduced in 2007, and Apple Music, a seven-year service that proves consumers’ love. today. The days of purchase and the availability of 99-cent songs on the iPod often gave way to a monthly subscription that provided access to the music list.

The iPod has been a guide for Apple for many years by offering unparalleled packaging, hardware engineering, software development and services. It has also been observed that the company rarely pre-trades with new products but often wins.

During the 1990s, the first digital music videos began to appear. The earliest announcements could hold a few dozen songs, allowing people who were early on copying CDs into their computer to transfer the songs into their pockets.

Steve Jobs, who returned to Apple in 1997 after being ousted more than a decade ago, looked at the new names as an opportunity to put Apple’s computer hardware business in modern demand. A die-hard fan, who listed the Beatles and Bob Dylan among his favorite actors, Mr. Jobs thought tapping into people’s love of music would encourage them to switch to Macintoshes by Microsoft-powered personal computers, which account for more than 90. percent market share.

“You don’t have to do any market research,” said Jon Rubinstein, who was Apple’s chief marketing officer at the time. “Everyone loves music.”

Mr. Rubinstein helped boost the market by discovering a new hard disk drive developed by Toshiba during a trip to Japan. The 1.8-inch drive can store 1,000 songs. In fact, it can be a Sony Walkman-size player with a capable multitudes greater than anything available in the market.

The iPod development coincided with Apple’s acquisition of a company with MP3 software that would become the basis for iTunes, the digital jukebox that set up the human music library to bring them. optionally create playlists quickly and edit songs. He supports Mr. Jobs’ vision for how people will buy music in the digital age.

“We think people want to buy their music online by buying downloads, just like they buy LPs, just like they buy cassettes, just like they buy CDs,” he said in 2003. speak.

At the time, a program called Napster was hurting the music industry, enabling people to share songs with people all over the world for free. Mr. Jobs leaned into the music industry woes by exploiting the potential of new Macs to print CDs with the business slogan: “Rip. Mix. Burn.” The campaign puts the music industry in the corner of Apple, according to Albhy Galuten, director of Universal Music Group at the time.

Mr. Galuten said the label has finally agreed to let Apple sell songs on iTunes for 99 cents. Mr. Galuten said, “We fold because we are weak,” “The easiest way to combat piracy is with simplicity.”

The first-generation iPod, priced at $ 399, blunted demand, limiting the company to selling less than 400,000 units in the first year. Three years later, Apple released the iPod Mini, a 3.6-ounce aluminum case that came in silver, gold, pink, blue and green. It cost $ 249 and carried 1,000 songs. Explosion sales. At the end of its fiscal year in September 2005, it sold 22.5 million iPods.

Apple has expanded the power of the iPod Mini by making iTunes available on Windows computers, allowing Apple to share its name with millions of new users. Although the subsequent strike will be reported as a stroke of industry brilliance, Mr. Jobs challenged him at the time, former officials said.

Soon, iPods were everywhere. “It came out like a rocket,” Rubinstein said.

However, Mr. Jobs pushed Apple to make the iPod smaller and more powerful. Mr. Rubinstein said the company is shutting down production of its most popular product ever – the iPod Mini – to replace it with a smaller model called the Nano that starts at $ 200. about double its sales for the next 40 million years.

Perhaps the iPod’s most important contribution is its role as a catalyst for the creation of the iPhone. As cell phone companies have begun to introduce products that can play music, Apple executives are concerned about advances through better technology. Mr. Jobs decided that if that happened, Apple would have to do it.

The iPhone continues to draw on the mix of software and services that make iPod successful. Success with iTunes, which allows users to back up their iPhone and put music on the device, has been targeted by improving the App Store, which allows people to download and pay for software and services.

In 2007, the company laid off a long-term employee – Apple Computer Inc. – and became Apple, an electric juggernaut for years in development.

Talal Shamoon, president of Intertrust Technologies, a digital rights management company working with the music industry at the time, said: “They have shown the world that they have an atomic bomb, and for five years then they have a nuclear arsenal. ” “Then, there is no doubt that Apple will have everyone.”

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