Apple’s major turnaround from the doldrums of the 90’s Apple went through was based on the success of the iPod and iMusic. This was such a dynamite duo it quickly catapulted Apple to major player in the tech industry again and a name change from Apple Computer to just Apple Inc to reflect that it was no longer just a maker of computers.
Apple Changed an Industry in Need of a Solution
This was an interesting period. It was the early days of the internet and piracy of music was running rampant. Everyone knew what Napster was whether they used it or not. The mp3 player was nothing special until Apple came along. Sony had revolutionized that industry and made the acronym mp3 player a household word. It was quite the time for everyone but the music industry and the musicians that weren’t getting paid.
This was an industry thirsty for a solution to more than one problem. Steve Job’s had just returned to Apple with his ingenuity if not brilliance. At the beginning of the millennium Job’s unveiled not just an mp3 player but a player unlike anything on the market and with a name to go with that. The iPod. Plus, he had worked with the major music houses to deliver music just for the iPod at a reasonable rate.
Why the iPod stopped Napster
One might ask at this point how did this scenario stop people from pilfering music. It didn’t immediately but it did because everyone wanted an iPod. No longer was it cool to be seen with an mp3 player, which was generally tape driven or possibly CD friendly, they wanted the advanced HD iPod player that initially went to 15 gigs and held a lot of songs. It also worked incredibly well with an easy to use software system that was at the same time very powerful.
The iPod started turning up in TV shows and movie scenes and became the very sheik device to have. With it, Steve Job’s changed an industry including Apple. Apple went from rags to riches in short order. Users were also never so delighted. The player was more than an mp3 player but not by a great deal yet it could do so much. Paying for your music was still an anathema but was coming round as people realized an artist should be paid for their work otherwise the whole industry would collapse.
iPods a Plenty
Eventually, the original iPod morphed into different variants of itself. On the horizon though was another Apple breakthrough technology called the iPhone which was not just an iPod and a phone but it was much more than that. Balsallie of Blackberry decided to take a look at the new device and he was shocked to find he was holding a full sized computer in the Palm of his hand.
Jobs had once again pulled it off but not to the loss of the iPod line which was so groundbreaking. Apple went on to make an iPod Touch and for all intents and purposes it was an iPhone just without the phone. There proved to be a strong market niche for the iPod Touch which went on to continue in the line while the other iPods were slowly being killed off.
The iPhone Day in the Sun
The iPhone has gone on to see its day in the sun and many a vendor realized if they didn’t have something to compete with the iPhone they had nothing. The iPhone has gone on to be a smashing success. It is constantly upgraded and enhanced and it can truly be said to be a computer in your hand.
However, all this power comes at a price. Further, the design of the iPhone is hard to beat. The long and short of it is the iPhone style has gone on to win the day but it is one expensive little beast.
The competition wasn’t sitting idly by though. RIM went on to break the first Blackberry‘s they tried to design to compete with the iPhone and the Windows interface just never grabbed anyone to any significant degree. However, Google came out with Android which they gave away for free and it did catch on, particularly Samsung’s version of it. In fact, that is one of the biggest problems with Android is how fractured it is with all the various implementations. The iPhone has been able to hold its own due to this and other reasons.
The iPod though has a place At Apple though it Looked Worrisome
The iPod Touch is a marvelous device that is very cost effective. It is desirable especially if you don’t want an all in one device. Apple though seemed to be letting the iPod Touch languish as they hadn’t really done anything with it from about 2012 till the sixth generation they just released.
However, the sixth generation is the current iPhone just in a smaller casing. The screen is a 4” screen but supposedly this was done intentionally as the younger person is targetted for the device and they have smaller hands.
Apple actually did this with their iPhone 6. They did studies and determined that the iPhone 6’s 4.7” screen is the ideal size for an adult.
Thus, both devices have been carefully crafted for their target markets.
The iPod Touch has another Appeal
Although Apple crafted the iPod Touch for a younger crowd, it is the perfect device for someone that doesn’t want an all in one. You can have the capabilities of the iPhone 6 in the iPod Touch significantly cheaper than an iPhone and yet still have the marvelous feel and software of the iPhone line.
Some feel the iPod Touch is a pricey device but this is only for the very high end configuration with the maximum amount of memory which only few would need. Compared to an unlocked iPhone, the iPod Touch can be a very cost effective solution.
Further, there is just something very significant about Apple continuing with the iPod line. This marked the beginning of the companies turnaround while the iPhone turned Apple into the largest company by capitalization in the world. This is no small feat.
The Hailings of Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs has passed but his brilliance lives on. Music is just as important to people as ever. Yes, you can use your iphone to play your music and tons of people are. However, there are many who just want to listen to their music without disruption.
The iPod provided the ideal environment for this. It might not appear as relevant today’s ecosystem yet it is. It is the hallmark of a great Apple. The iPod Touch has an important place and role to fulfill. To kill it off would have been a mistake. Enhancing it is a great relief.
With Apple’s new emphasis on music in the form of streaming music which you can capture and take with you, the manner in which you can listen to your music is more fluid than ever.
Music and the iPod Touch are relevant to both Apple’s past, present and will be to it’s future. We should enjoy a long run of good if not great players along with some fantastic ways to enjoy our music.