With the invention of the iPod in 2001, the entire category of digital music players was revolutionized. The fact that an iPod lets you store your entire collection of music in one device that can be stored in your pocket, Steve Jobs had himself admitted that listening to music would never be the same again. Because of its far-reaching impact on the music industry, what Steve Jobs had said, has, in fact, turned to reality. It has been ten years since the inception of the iPod, and it can safely be said that the impact and implications of this product have been extremely versatile as well as far-reaching. Here’s how a single device has bought massive change in the music technology industry over the years!
1. Changing The Consumer Market
Apple was not the first company to have launched a portable music player; however, it has been the most influential and the longest running device for over a decade. There are many reasons based mainly in the consumer market as to why this product has gained such fame. The best part about the iPod was that its creators took a close look at why its predecessors failed to have an impact on the market and improved on these features, including the minutest details.
This laid the foundation stone for iPods to gain appreciation in the consumer market. Unlike a typical MP3 player, an iPod combined both hardware and software, making it possible to store much more music and was also more comfortable to use because it used FireWire technology which ensured a higher speed. This created a visible shift in the market; in little time, iPod took over the entire digital player market, marking a constant change in consumer behavior as well.
2. An Impactful Design
The iconic design if the iPod had always made it stand out in the market. The design proudly declared elegance and class with its sleek exterior and polished finish. This design has won several awards and is still proudly placed in many technological museums because it is so exceptionally made, especially keeping in mind the time it was created.
Each iPod types have different design and functions is the reason why the iPod became so popular after its launch can also be attributed to its elegant and aesthetically pleasing exterior. It did not have any nonfunctional buttons or wheels. It has a straightforward button that would surf through an entire collection of music intuitively; this idea revolutionized the market for digital music, and even to this day has shown markedly improved influences on the Industry. This groundbreaking product wreaked such havoc that it has become the symbol of an entire generation, found its way into pop culture and has been the hallmark of all its descendants over different companies.
3. The Market Of Accessories
There are so many companies that have started their business making products directly to enhance the experience of the users. This market popularly known as the peripherals is it only versatile but also unique and a driving force of opportunities for many additional start-up companies. Since iPods changes how people view their experience with an electronic device, it has now created a flourishing industry worth millions of accessory items alone.
There are speakers, headphones, cases, skins, in-car kits as well as novelty items that have been created for iPods alone. It is a perfect market for a complementary purchase scheme; more Apple sells their iPods, more are the accessory products sold by these fringe companies. Conversely, more the number of iPod accessories available in the market, more people will buy into the iPod ecosystem. While there were many companies who soon realized the advantages of investing and creating into the iPod industry, many companies soon followed making unique accessories complementing the newly launched iPods to suit the requirements of the buyers.
4. The Changing Face Of The Music Industry
In the ten years since the inception of the first iPod, its accompanying software iTunes has also developed from being a simple application for music management to a billion-dollar online music store that has made agreements with the biggest record labels all over the world. One of the reasons why iPods were so successful was because of this easy to use the software; iTunes can hence be given credit for the success of iPod.
Although in the beginning, it was thought as if Apple is becoming a piracy machine as most of the songs on the iPods would be illegal, however, in 2003 when the iTunes Music Store was launched it was understood that in the times of diminishing need for CD, iTunes was here to save the music industry. It was then that iTunes was able to convince the major music labels to license their music to iTunes so that the music is available to one and all. The development of iTunes has been seen as both a blessing and a boon to the industry. While it has saved all the music over the years, it has curbed every alternate form of the music industry because of its popularity among the crowd.
5. Changing The Way We See Apple
The perception people have about Apple has been completely revolutionized after the launch of iTunes. Before its start, Apple was primarily considered a computer company is catering to the needs of people in need of a computer or other accessories. In the pre-iPod era, Apple was pasteurized as being a company producing excellent quality but expensive computers, however with the rise of iPod and with its declining prices; Apple was seen as more than an equipment manufacturing company.
It has been ten years, and till date, the iPod being a pocket-sized device still seems to cause uproar every time a new version is downloaded. One of the concerns from consumers is the iPod battery life, consumers prefer an iPod model that can last longer for outdoor activity. It is almost ironic that consumer reaction to this product was initially not wholly favorable. Ape has now set a standard of excellence that other companies are still trying to match up to while them producing quality products every year!