The iPod Year in Review 2005: Year of the iPod, or iPod Decade?

The iPod Year in Review 2005: Year of the iPod, or iPod Decade? 1

Was 2005 the “Year of the iPod?” Or are we in the middle of “The iPod Decade?” Share your thoughts in the Comments thread below!

We knew that Apple Computer had done well for itself when we published last year’s iPod Year in Review 2004, but you need only skim that earlier article to see how much things have changed for the better. With only a few exceptions, Apple has trumped all expectations for 2005, evolving the iPod, trivializing its competitors, enhancing iTunes and the Music Store, and expanding iPod retail availability on a global scale to meet ever-increasing demand.

We’ve already covered this year’s factual milestones in our Brief History of iPod & iTunes feature, so now we’ll take a more opinionated look back at what went right and wrong in 2005, then look forward to what is likely to happen in 2006. Use the “Click here for the story” buttons below to read as much or as little as you prefer.

iPod & iTunes: Chasing Remaining Niches (Click here for the story.)

Growth of the Accessory Market (Click here for the story.)

Putting Competitors Out to Pasture (Click here for the story.)

What’s Next? (Click here for the story.)

Year of the iPod? The iPod Decade?

This has been a great year for the iPod, iTunes, and fans of Apple products – so much so that it’s tempting to call 2005 “the year of the iPod.” But with each passing month, we’re feeling increasingly confident that we’re in the middle of the “the iPod Decade,” a dynasty that’s not slowing down yet, and only going to get more popular in 2006.

The iPod Year in Review 2005: Year of the iPod, or iPod Decade? 17

Do you feel the same? Different? Let us know in the Comments section below. We hope you’ve enjoyed this look back at 2005, and we’re looking forward to sharing our excitement in an even more amazing 2006.

  1. I can only speak for myself, and say that this has definitely been the year of the iPod for me, in that I dropped almost $500 for a new 60GB iPod Video, which was $500 more than I was planning to spend on an iPod this year…!

    Having said that, I can also say that I love my new iPod, and I would never go back to any other way of storing/listening to music.

    I remember when I used to carry tons of CD’s and cassette tapes around in my car. What a mess, and the discs and tapes were always getting separated from their correct cases, etc. Now all I need is my iPod and cassette adapter.

    I’m getting less patient with people who don’t understand iPods and don’t see the appeal. This is the year of the iPod, AND the decade of the iPod, AND, for all I know, the millenium of the iPod. I’m not looking back, and wish everybody else would start looking forward too!

  2. Many of my friends have iPods, and I’ve been clamouring to get one for much of this year. My girlfriend didn’t take much interest in them, and insisted they were a waste of money.

    I recently upgraded my computer and switched from Winamp to iTunes. My girlfriend, now impressed in the way all my music was cleverly organised in iTunes, started showing an interest in iPods too. Yesterday, she asked for a Shuffle for christmas (which was bought the same day).

    The irony now being that all my friends, *and* my girlfriend now have iPods, and I don’t!

    It’ll be worth the wait.

  3. Like Waynewrite, this has definitely been the Year of the Ipod in my house. My wife just received a Nano for a work holiday party gift, making that the 5th ipod we’ve gotten since June. It all started when my wife got a Rio Forge for my BD in June. It was a pain in the butt to use and for a little bit more, I thought a Mini would be a much better choice. Later, I decided that a Shuffle would be better for running, so I got that and kept the Mini for the rest of the time. Then came a Mini for my wife, a 5G for me (didn’t like the 4MB limit any more, so I sold the Mini), and then the Nano (sold the other Mini). Plus, a ton of our friends have gotten ipods this year – never actually knew anyone who had one at the start of the year.

  4. I believe it’s time for firmware enhancemnets to the iPod interface. More mac-familiar graphics and effects, particulalry with that big 5G iPod screen just sitting there with bored long blue bars. Apple should spend some focus on making the interface as appealing as the exterior. Customization and elegance should prevail in design.

    Also, many fans of this site are in agreement with Horwitz on video quality. The quality is poor. Improvments are a must to scale up video sales. For now I believe many sales are a novelty. People will spend maybe 50-100 on media and say wait a minute, “the quality jsut doesn’t justify the expense.” And at 1.99 to 9.99 the expense will mount. To adjust for higher resultion however, Apple will need to satisfy capacity demands. In effect Apple may be creating a need for larger harddrives that mp3s just don’t for most people. I think 80 gb and 100 gb drives will come sooner if video sales ramin strong.

  5. Year of the iPod? Definitely. I was a big iPod fan, but this year, im beginning to turn more into a n Apple fan.I definitely agree that better quality videos are needed in order to be watchable on the pc/mac, but for now, theyre fine for playing on the iPod. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the iPod. Id hate to see a PSP looking iPod though. Personally, im fine with the screen’s resolution, and dont think we need anything bigger. An improvement in battery life would definitely be nice though.

  6. Yea this is “the year of the iPod”.

    I remeber back a few years ago when I bought my first iPod, the 2nd generation. Nobody at all knew what it was. Now a few years later anyone who doesn’t know what an iPod is must have been locked away for the last year.

    I would never think of anything else other than an iPod, I am now on my 4th one. (5th G)

    I think next year will see much more success for Apple and the iPod.

    Keep up the good work Apple, and iLounge!

  7. Definetily the iPod year.

    Coming years may come with increased iPod sales and more and cooler features.

    I think this is the year that the iPod really took off. For example, in my house I’ve got my 6 Gb blue iPod Mini, accesories and still more to come with the holiday season.

  8. I just purchased a 60gb video ipod, and its the best. The way it allows you to organize all of your music and videos is just amazing. i use it in my car also and i love it. i dont know what i would do if i lose though.

  9. Twenty years after buying my first Apple (Mac 128) I am holding one of Apples coolest tools. I know most of you folks are into music on your iPods and so am I. But I think the sweet spot is in the Podcasts and videos. I just subscribed to the BerkeleyGroks an awesome podcast of knowledge on all things important.
    Don’t get me wrong I love listening to Jimi and Willy and Luciano and the first episode of Lost but the essence for me is when I am flying to a small village on the North Slope of Alaska my iPod can help me to learn something new everyday! The music is great but knowledge is power and this old Hippy is still into saving our world. Look for Peace in all the right places. My vote is iPod until the next evolution in Technology.

  10. i think that i pod will be the device of the decade. the technlogy is so amazing that it’s well amazing. i use my 30 gig video ipod every single day and i never get tired of the gadgets you can buy for the freakin’ thing. there is nothing better than listing to your ipod on a long and boaring trip. i really and seriousley belive that ipod is not just a fad. this thing is just so revoulutionary that it’s going to last a hell of a long time. another plus to the ipod is the wonderfull suppourt base by apple with itunes. the new things that apple comes out with all the time is just very cool. this thing is extremley compact and incredable. it’s just so sleek and sexy that it feels very cool in your hand. just a few days ago i was riding the light rail and there must have been at leats 25 people listling to their ipods. that alone is awsome. my 10 cents is that this technology will spark whole new age of technology.

  11. this was definetly the year of the ipod. there are 7 in my house. everyone owns one, and when mine broke my dads excuse was ive bought 7 of these damn things in the past year. im 14 and my older brother and sister and i got our 4g 20 gigs for christmas 2004. in march, we got my dad a silver mini. in august, my mom got a shuffle for her birthday. in november, my 11 year old brother and 12 year old sister got the last of the minis (pink and blue) from circuit city (we bought them in october). definetly the year of the ipod for me.

  12. I also Think this is the year of the Ipod because four people in my family has gotten one. And they all LOVE them!.

    I got a 30gb Ipod And I also Love it too!

  13. Not that long ago, I scoured the 50-mile radius around my place for a pink 4 gigabyte first gen mini, thinking it would be the ultimate find. A few months later, I sold it and upgraded to a 6 gig mini. A few months later, I needed a way to store vacation photos in a hurry and got a 4G 60GB photo. A few weeks later, I traded it in for a 5G 60GB video. This has been the year of the revolving door iPod for me, but the 5G’s a keeper. Right now, I can’t think of any other way they can improve it. ;>

  14. It has been the year of the ipod in my house. I have had other small mp3 players as I am a runner. I recently bought the nano and it is no longer used for my running but also for learning. I drive 10 hours a week and listen to books on cd. I would fumble around with CDs (not very safe) on the highway. I now have my music, books, and pod casts in my nano and listen in my car. I can go from Black Eyed Peas to the harvard business reviews with a few clicks! My next step is to buy the accessories for my home stereo and get my wife an ipod.

  15. Not only is this the year of the iPod, but soon it will become the year of Apple. After longing for an iPod since 2003, but not wanting to spend so much after seeing how quickly they became replaced, I gave in and bought a 20GB 4th generation exactly one year ago tomorrow. I’d been using iTunes since March, and began to buy in September. Since then, I’ve spent over $700 on iTunes music. In April of 2005, I convinced my father to buy himself an iPod mini, 4G 2nd Gen, and soon after, my mother got one for herself. 2 months later, I bought an iMac G5, and after inviting my parents to see the simplicity of my Mac, they replaced their aging Dell with a brand new Mac Mini. In just one year, I’ve converted my parents and I into not only iPod users, but Mac users as well. I look forward to seeing the Year of Apple very soon.

  16. year of the ipod? i’ll say this…

    i started the year positively not wanting an ipod. infact, some would have called me a hater. i hated the fact that it was so big and so… flashy. so i bought a muvo n200 january 4th 2005, and i fell in love with it… but over the year, my opinion of it has changed quite a bit. though it’s been through a LOT of abuse and still tootles away, the fact that i had to update the firmware or it wouldn’t work upon opening the box was already pissing me off.

    now it’s december 29, and i positively want a nano. year of the pod? i think so.

  17. Year of the iPod….you better believe it! I went through three different iPods this year. In February, I got a black/white screen iPod 4G 20GB. I loved it like nothing else. When the 2nd Gen. iPod mini rolled around, everyone had one, and, it grew on me. Then, I opted to downsize and give my 20 gig iPod, now scratched and worn, to my sister, in order to get this new bright blue iPod 6GB mini. I fell in love with the mini quicker than I did with the 20GB. It lasted me throughout the summer and into the fall season. I felt overwhelmed and sorry that I had rushed for the mini when apple dropped the curtain on the mini and pulled it back up to reveal the new “impossibly small” iPod Nano. Not being anywhere close to having the money to buy another iPod, I opted to wait ’till christmas time, thinking maybe I’d have enough money. And then Apple did it again. iPods could now play videos. WOW! I was ever so glad that I waited. Thus I turned over yet another new iPod on Christmas morning, a 30GB black iPod video. All in all, Apple has me to thank for roughly $850 of their gross income for 2005. I can say though that it was all worth it. I am highly satisfied with all of my iPods and will probably continue to patronize the iPod brand over time, although probably not too soon(out of money at the moment). All this, and that’s just me!
    The day after Christmas when I was doing my shopping, earbuds in ear, I found that I was not alone. As a matter of fact, just about one in every three people in the mall that day also sported those signature apple white earbuds. They’re everywhere…and they don’t seem to be leaving anytime soon. Long live the iPod!

  18. I’m like revmonkey — I was a iPod hater for no good reason. In 2005 I got my first one free (I teach at a University where my students have to use them in class), now I can’t imagine my life without one. I even chuckle to myself when I still see people with portable CD players. It just looks so bulky and awkward, with the same 17-24 songs! I got some portable speakers for Christmas and I can never buy enough accessories.

    I want a video iPod, but I’m trying to find out if I can upload my Family Guy DVDs to the device (any one know)? Or if that’s not possible, maybe it will be in the next couple of months?

  19. Year of the iPod it certainly has been, as some one said above at the begining of the year I didn’t know any one who had one. I was bought one by my wife for my Birthday in May and 4 people in my office have got them since. I also treated myself to a 20″ iMAC this Christmas so you could say it has been the year of Apples for me 🙂

  20. “i started the year positively not wanting an ipod. infact, some would have called me a hater.” – revmonkey

    Haha same here. It all changed in when i came home from college for winter break. My sister had recieved a 30 gig video for her birthday and asked me to put songs on it. Over the course of 5 days i went from hater to owner (i’m listening to my own 30 gig photo as i type this). So yes, definately the year of the iPod.

  21. Year of the iPod? Understatment!
    I received a mp3 player in May 2004. Three other co-workers received the same player. Since this was my first experience with a mp3 player, I was in love and figured “so what if it’s not an actual iPod; it does the same thing & I’m free of carrying CDs!”.
    We all were constantly experiencing problems. The manufactor was no help & the solution to our problems were ALWAYS found on the internet, thanks to bloggers and programers who created the fixes themselves.
    Just before Labor Day 2005, I experienced, once again, another glitch & I had finally reached the end of my rope.
    While at the mall one day, I stopped by the Apple store. I had a wonderful assitant show me a few things. I’m bad at impulse buying (afterall, I already owned a mp3 player) so I had to be sure. I immediatley went home & started reading everything I could get my hands on.
    I finally bit the bullet & ordered my 4G 60gb iPod on Sept. 30, 2005.
    The 5G Video came out 12 days later – for the same exact price. That’s another story.

    During the Christmas season, at least 9 iPods were purchased by friends & family for gifts. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but we’re not talking Barbie dolls here. These are big ticket items! Not to mention the accessories that each family purchased to acompany their purchases.

    Acutally, I would like to know if any product, much less company, has done so much to increase this country’s economy!
    Not only did we all purchase iPods, but look at all the other companies we have purchased other accessories from. In just the last three months, the non-Apple items I purchased or received are such items as the Griffin iTrip, Kensington stereo dock, my Countour Showcase, Sumajin Smartwrap, not to mention a really cute bag from the local vender at a mall kiosk to hold all my accessories! What about all the other companies/stores my friends & family have purchased from?

    Year of the iPod? You know you have made it big when your item becomes a generic name (think Xerox copiers, Kleenex tissue) AND they do a skit about you on Saturday Night Live (almost spit out my drink when Weekend Update did that skit in November about the iPods getting smaller and smaller).

  22. Oops; guess I should have read the “Growth of the Accessory Market” article above before I wrote that paragraph above.
    But, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who’s noticed it! LOL

  23. I’ve never purchased an iPod. Why? Because I’ve viewed the iPod marketing machine and the millions and millions of iPod’s purchased on impulse due to this marketing as a negative. I always believed there are decent competetors to the iPod, but the competetors just don’t have the finanical clout to compete with Apple. My negative was solely perception as I had never owned one to compare.

    Year of the iPod? It’s way more than that. As stated in a previous post, the iPod has become a household name. People don’t reel off the names iRiver or Zen Micro, but iPods are everywhere.

    Well, last week I was lucky enough to win a black 5G 30gig iPod video, and my viewpoint has changed. I find iTunes easy to use, and the sound quality from the iPod great for a portable source. It’s becoming the decade of the iPod, as nothing has really kept up to the market share of the iPod.

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