The world’s best-selling music player has changed a lot from the time it got launched to the current period. The day it got launched ie October 23, 2001 the whole world was amazed with this awesome Gizmo which was in a white colour panel with 5Gb Memory Hard Disk to store upto 1000 songs along with the Revolutionary Click Wheel. It had a 160×128 pixel monochrome LCD Display along with a price of 399$ which seemed to be quite high and a gadget which only The Rich could affort because it offered just music and spending this amount in 2001 was quite a news.
By the year 2002, the iPod started getting very much famous among the youth and the sales started increasing and Apple launched few features like back text engrave option costing 50$ and a price of 499$ for a new 20Gb Model with touch wheel, flap for Firewire Port and software upgrades. These updates did look good but the iPod looked more like a Dummy one along with a price hike was a No-No. Also Apple launched the iTunes for Windows along with Mac and made the iPod available for Sync to transfer music.
Next in the year 2003, Apple increased the Hard Disk on their 2 available models to 20Gb & 40Gb models along with a decrease in the overall size of the iPod. The controls around the Click Wheel were adjusted and this time there were few buttons added next to it for the control of music.
Now since Apple had already upgraded the Memory of these music players, it was time for some extra enhancements which included super think iPods and a new product called the iPod Mini. This was a lighter product with 4Gb of memory and a small size available in five colors. In the same year the Fourth Generation iPod’s were announced with iPod Photo which allowed users to store and display photos in full colour, making the music player a full featured smart music player and the memory being increased to 40Gb & 60Gb models.
2005 is the year Apple launched the iPod Shuffle, a attempt to cater the low budget buyers who are looking for a high quality low priced music player for themselves and also for gifting others. The iPod Shuffle was available in 512Mb & 1Gb models. Along with this there were updates to the iPod Mini in terms of memory space and few product discontinuations. The very same year the iPod Photo got merged into the normal iPod’s making the screen bigger and the space expanded upto 320Gb which is seriously large memory. Since Apple didnt stop here, the very same year it again launched the iPod Nano followed by the end of iPod Mini because most of the features were same but this supported a new Glossy finish for more stylish looks. The final launch in the same year was of the 5th Generation iPods which allowed users to Play Videos on their players along with Photos at 30Frames/Second Speed which means awesome quality for this small player in H.264 format. The iTunes Software was upgraded and the iPod’s were available in 30Gb & 60Gb Models.
2006 was the year of Apple iPod Shuffle, where it was reduced to half of its size and it was just a simple player with controllers and no display screen. This was a excellent player for Joggers, Sportsmen, Bikers etc since it had a clip on the behind and you could use it anywhere. There was no built-in USB plug but an external dock was provided on which you had to set the ipod to charge it up. Along with this the iPod Nano 2nd Generation was launched on the same day with aluminium finish and scratch proof surface for more life and multiple colors.
The Beginning of 2007 saw iPod Shuffle available in four more colours ie orange, pink, blue and green following which at the mid-year the colours were dimmed a bit and the iPod Nano got a bigger 2″ display with QVGA[320x240px] resolution allowing the users to play music, view videos. The most important of this year was the launch of iPod Touch which was a total Touch screen based player with no buttons on the front screen. The users could also browse the Internet, check Emails, Use Google Maps and also install Applications which would be available through the iTunes. It was like the Apple iPhone minus the Phone.
2008 didnt see any big updates in this Music Player except memory addition in the iPod Shuffle upto 2Gb and the iPod Nano Chromatic getting new interface along with games, accelerometer, Auto-Rotated User Interface, Shake to Shuffle Songs etc. Along with this a series of colours were available in this year and few iPod models were discontinued. iPod touch was redesigned in terms of shape with the sides becoming more thinner and the player getting hidden bluetooth feature which was available only when it was upgraded to OS3.0 version.
The 3rd Generation iPod Shuffle was launched in 2009 which was more small in size but bigger in length with no controls on the players because the earphones cable was going to handle that. It came with a feature called ‘VoiceOver’ which would tell you the name of the track which is being placed and this is quite useful because there is no display to read the track names. Available in just 2 colors Black & silver it had a 4Gb memory capacity. Another big update was in the iPod Nano series where in it got a Video Camera inbuilt within it to record videos at 30Frames/Second with a bigger display of 2.2″. Also featured a built-in FM Radio and live pause feature in radio so that you dont miss any thing if you stop in the middle of any play. There have been huge price drops and also changes in the speed of processor of the iPod Touch to make sure its 50%+ more faster helping the users play games or run multiple applications easily.
With these many Technology Advancements in these Music Players there are speculations in the market that in the year 2010 there would be a lot of upgrades in these players ranging from higher memory capacities to wi-fi features. There are many Concept Players shown on different websites like the iBangle which can be a future iPod though i dont really feel this would ever become true. The below graph shows you the total iPod Sales Report from its Launch till 2007 which shows enormous growth and success received by the company.