Newsweek:  Apple iPod ‘from gizmo to life-changing cultural icon’

For a nice review of the iPod’s history, how far the little music player has come, where it stands today, and how it’s poised for more, read Steven Levy’s article, “iPod Nation,” now online for Newsweek.

“Steve Jobs noticed something earlier this year in New York City. ‘I was on Madison,’ says Apple’s CEO, ‘and it was, like, on every block, there was someone with white headphones, and I thought, ‘Oh, my God, it’s starting to happen,”” Steven Levy reports for Newsweek. “The sudden ubiquity of the iPod, the cigarette-box-size digital music player (and its colorful credit-card-size little sister, the Mini) [has] smacked right into the sweet spot where a consumer product becomes something much, much more: an icon, a pet, a status indicator and an indispensable part of one’s life.”

An interesting note: “VP Phil Schiller came up with the idea of a scroll wheel that made the menus accelerate as your finger spun on it.” (Perhaps we’ve all underestimated Phil a little bit?)

“Assessing the final product, Jobs bestows, for him, the ultimate accolade: ‘It’s as Apple as anything Apple has ever done,'” Levy reports.

Much more here.

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