The Internet has influenced us in so many ways whether they are on the entertainment front or on the professional end. It has completely changed the way we perceive things in our surroundings. One industry that the internet has completely reformed is the entertainment industry.
Today people can watch their favorite films and listen to any type of music anywhere anytime regardless of their location all thanks to the internet. Since the internet has become so easy to access and with the usage number of the internet going up and up every other day, people are finding out new ways to use the internet to their advantage.
One such industry that the internet has influenced is the music industry. Although on the viewing end, the internet is still struggling to take over the traditional cable TV and cinema industry, however, on the listening end, internet-based apps like Spotify and Apple music have already made the music industry transcend completely online. All you need is an internet connection to listen to your favorite type of music and if you don’t have an internet connection today hurry up and dial Cox Customer Service Number and they will hook you up with a good and cost-effective internet in no time.
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A Brief History of Music Players
Although today it is quite easy to listen to music online, it wasn’t always like this. Back in the day music was listened to on cassettes, CDs, and DVDs which were carried in large music players. However, then came the time of handheld music devices like the Walkman that was one step ahead in terms of music listening as they provided digital means of storage, but out of all these musical devices that came in the early 2000s there is undoubtedly one that stood out, and that is the iPod.
iPod’s Rise to Success
Apple released the first iPod with its iPod Classic Series on October 23rd, 2001. By that time, the market cap for Apple equaled 7.7 billion dollars. Apple made 2 billion in profit in 2001. They came in at a loss of 25 million dollars. Currently, Apple’s net worth is 2.4 trillion out of which 378 billion was the revenue gained in 2021 and 94.7 billion was profit. Apple’s profit grew 20 times since the release of the iPod and this wouldn’t have been possible without the contribution of the iPod.
In 2001, 95% of Apple’s revenue came from Mac and products related to Mac. By 2005, iPod surpassed Mac, bringing in over 40 % of the entire revenue, whereas Mac was under 40% at that point. It was also the driving factor for iTunes, which was a 15% shareholder of the entire revenue at the time.
Considering Apple’s business model, it was formerly a 25-year-old company when the iPod was released. And this was the shift that marked the success of Apple, where they went from a PC maker to a company getting 65% of their revenue from a musical gadget and a digital music service that were the iPod and iTunes respectively. After Apple saw a significant increase in revenue year over year, hitting 14 Billion dollars by 2005, which was an unconventional 600% increase.
Comparing that, the biggest selling phone before iPhone was Nokia, dealing 250 million units of their infamous Nokia 1100s, but this wasn’t a brand people liked and their phones were only selling because they were the only viable option at that time in the cellular phone industry. Apple had iPod as a competitor back then, which became a fashion statement, and people kept asking Apple to experiment more and more with it.
iPhone and The Downfall of iPod
Coming back to iPod sales, which are 450 million in total. Breaking down their timeline we get to know that by April 9th, 2007 100 million units were sold, and 300 million were sold by 2011. After that, there was a significant dip recorded in the sales of iPod but that didn’t affect Apple because their revenue stream was not only stable but was also doubled due to the launch of the iPhone in 2007.
People loved this new technology as it packed the features of both an iPod and with regular functionality of a cellphone giving the best of both worlds. So people decided to go for iPhones as it seemed a more viable option instead of buying an iPod, whose consumer market was only left to children who weren’t allowed to have phones. So after 2011, the iPod sales were reduced to 150 million in that entire 2011-2020 decade, this indeed was because of the iPhones taking over and the love for this technology that is still going strong today making Apple the number one phone manufacturer in the world.
When iPod eventually evolved into the iPhone, the branding was so ideal and made so much sense, that it was a perfect stepping stone that Apple erected to convince the masses in order to switch to their favorite entertainment gadget that wasn’t only the iPod they loved but also so much more. And it was through the love of the iPod that millions were ready to abruptly leave the cellphones by Nokia and Motorola to join the world of Apple’s first smartphone, the iPhone.
Everything present in the first iPhone from design to software was the lessons that Apple’s R&D took from the iPod. So much so that even the App Store and the evolution of iTunes was a concept borrowed from the iPod.
Apple has repeatedly said that after over 20 years of its successful run, they were going to fully discontinue the iPod, but this is also a fact that without it, they wouldn’t come close to being a tech giant and at the place where they stand today. Obviously, everything good must come to an end, every journey has a destination. In the case of iPods, they lived longer than anybody would have guessed, but the entire way we communicate today, the most influential gadget that we have in our hands in the shape of the iPhone and how most businesses function, plus the trillion-dollar company that Apple has become today, all of this wouldn’t be possible in any capacity if the iPods hadn’t seen the light of day.