When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPod in 2001, a month after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the timing was inauspicious and the product given little chance of success. Of course, the iPod did succeed — wildly so — paving the way for iTunes, lots of smaller iPods, the iPhone, the iPad, and Apple's bulging (offshore) bank account. This week, the heir of the original iPod — a rectangular box with a click-wheel on the front, hard drive inside, and no touchscreen, now dubbed iPod Classic — died a quiet death.
Michael Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times, one of the people who noticed the iPod Classic disappearing from Apple's online store, notes that few "will lament its passing, even though it marked a revolution in portable music." At this point, all the original iPod had going for it was storage — 160 gigabytes — which is something, but obviously not enough. I'm not as old as Hiltzik, but I still have my first iPod, from early 2002, somewhere, still working, little used. And I understand where he's coming from:
I loved my iPods, every single one of them, and when I tell my grandchildren about the old days when a music player only played music, and had a black-and-white screen and yet was as thick as a deck of cards (or as Jobs said in 2001, as "tiny" as a deck of cards), there will be a tear in my eye. Godspeed. [Los Angeles Times]
But hey, at least we'll soon be able to spend lots of money on a groovy watch.