Why the iPod – yes, the iPod – still matters

“Every technology company has a product that can be said to define it. For Microsoft, it’s Windows,” Don Reisinger writes for Fortune.

MacDailyNews Take: Poor Mediocresoft. Might as well be a septic tank pumper.

“For Google, it’s Google Search,” Reisinger writes. “And for Apple, a company that once had the word ‘computer’ in its name, it’s the iPod. That’s right, the iPod, not the iPhone or iPad or any future i-device coming along.”

Reisinger writes, “A solid argument can be made that every iPhone or iPad a person buys is really another iPod sale. After all, those devices integrate all of the features found in today’s iPods. They are, for all intents and purposes, iPods on steroids. That’s why the iPod really matters. The iPod as we once knew it is definitely going the way of the Dodo. But the iPod – a platform that allows consumers to play music and video while mobile – is morphing into its next state as a component in a product that can do more. And that’s why it still matters: The iPod isn’t dying. The iPod is simply entering the next phase of its long history.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Contrary to MDN’s irrelevant comment??? WTF? MSFT ha 1.5 billion users… MDN please move on.

    The iPod is what motivated Bill Gates to move ahead with the 150 million investment in Apple in 1998 so no doubt that little device is the single most important device ever created by Apple and good on Apple to keep is alive!

    1. Microsoft has lost relevance and mind share. Don’t know if you’ve noticed but PC manufacturers like Dell and HP are doing poorly. Windows was always a slapdash product pretending to be a consumer OS instead of really an unnecessarily complex enterprise OS. A supreme irony handing a klunky OS to a largely tech ignorant consumer public (under the cheap sticker price lure) and forcing them to wade through the Windows morass. Cruel really.

      The future doesn’t look bright for Microsoft with the persistent perception their stuff isn’t “cool.” But with an uncool, uncouth and oafish dude like Steve Ballmer at the helm how could it be otherwise? Ballmer is the epitome of a revolting tech sales guy CEO.

    2. iPod was announced in November 2001. I doubt it was even a sketch on the drawing board when Microsoft made its 150 million investment in Apple in 1997. (That’s NINETEEN NINETY SEVEN, not 1998.)

    3. You have a valid point about windows.

      However Jobs would have never told Gates about the iPod even if it existed. Remember he got burned by that with Gates before.

    4. Bill Gates invested $150 million in Apple because he was trying to prove to the government that Microsoft wasn’t a monopoly. Microsoft needed Apple to stay in business a little longer as much as Apple needed Microsoft’s cash.

      1. It was FAR more then ‘proving to the gubmutt’ The 150 mil plus the promise to develop Office for Mac for another 5 years was only the visible part of a settlement over MS lifting Quicktime code. The stock that MS acquired was non voting, and the public perception that MS ‘saved’ or ‘owned’ Apple is false. Apple even at that low point in its history had $4Billion in cash and other liquid assets. MS wimpy $150 mil was nothing

        1. Steve Jobs has publicly stated that Apple was months away from insolvency when he stepped in. The burn rate of cash and overhanging debt was crushing it. Apple owed more than it’s market cap.

            1. Page 339 of the actual book. (last paragraph of chapter 25)

              “This ability to focus saved Apple. In his first year back, Jobs laid off more than three thousand people, which salvaged the company’s balance sheet. For the fiscal year that ended when Jobs became interim CEO in September 1997, Apple lost $1.04 billion. “We were less than ninety days from being insolvent,” he recalled. “

    5. Hey Gary,

      Let me add one more thing, you stupid troll. Microsoft was forced to pay that money to Apple because the got caught stealing QuickTime code. Apple had outright proof, and the public embarrassment would have been a major blow to Microsoft. I know, because one if my developer friends was backstage at Macworld, where it was being discussed by Apple executives.

      So before you open your trap, get your facts straight.

  2. What the article completely misses is that the lowly iPod is important because it’s a gateway and introduction to iOS and Apple as a company for many who can’t afford a smartphone or tablet. This includes children. It’s not unusual for a six year old to receive an iPod nano, an eight year old to receive an iPod touch etc. and that just greases the wheels for future purchases of bigger and more expensive items. This is why the iPod is important and will never completely go away.

  3. It appears Steve Jobs felt iPad was the next thing for him. iPhone was the prelude to it and iPod was/is what you do while making plans for other things in life.

    I suppose, Don Reisinger needed a catchy headline other than a top 10 list. The rest of the article was just trying to justify the headline somehow.

  4. I still have the original iPod and still works. Needs a new headphone jack and battery replacement. Does any one knows who can fix it especially the jack or sells that part.

    1. Really?

      iPod (Touch) still matters to me because I don’t want to screw with, (or be screwed by), data over cellular.

      And BTW, I run a sole proprietorship on two iPods [4Gen], and I’m not a kid. I act like one much of the time, but it’s only wishful thinking on my part.

  5. One thing that was missed in what was a pretty good article was how the iPod was used to market the iPhone. Remember how, prior to iOS 5, the audio and video functions of the iPhone were united under a single “iPod” app? It was Apple’s way of using the cache of the iPod to sell the iPhone: Buy our phone — it has an iPod in it!

    Now that the iPhone is the big deal, and the iPod overshadowed, there’s no need for that anymore, so the iPhone has been switched to the interface originally designed for the iPod touch. But I’m sure that that “iPod” app helped sell more than a few of the original iPhones.


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