Happy 6th Birthday, iPod

Six years ago today, on October 23, 2001, Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPod, a $399 hard drive-based MP3 player with a unique Scroll Wheel and bright white LCD interface, an amazingly pocketable size, and high-speed FireWire for synchronization and charging. The first-generation iPod actually shipped in mid-November, eventually selling 125,000 units by the end of 2001.

One hundred and twenty million units later, that iPod has evolved into the sixth iteration, the iPod classic, spawned other iPod models such as the mini, shuffle, nano, and touch, and seen its capacity increase 32 times, even while falling in price. It has also played a major part in Apple’s remarkable growth from a struggling computer company to a major consumer electronics manufacturer, inspiring the iPhone and helping boost sales of iMac and MacBook computers.

In December of 2005, we asked you, our readers, whether ‘05 represented the “Year of the iPod,” or if we were instead in the middle of “The iPod Decade.” Nearly two years later, there is literally no end in sight for sales of the iconic jukebox, and with Apple leveraging the iPod+iTunes ecosystem with new products, we may just be getting started.

From all of us at iLounge to Apple’s iPod teams, past and present, congratulations on your sixth birthday.