May
14
2009

Who Invented the iPod

The iPod is probably one of the most revolutionary consumer products ever developed, it’s right up there with velcro, computers, cars, even the paper clip. Designed and manufactured by Apple Inc, some say the iPod was invented by Steve Jobs, and since its launch in 2001 has become the world’s biggest selling mp3 player with over 180 million units shipped by the end of 2008.

In 2000, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs setup a team of people to design and invent a new portable music player that he believed could dominate the mp3 market because all of the existing players were clunky and weren’t really selling in great numbers. Many of the players then on the market were simple devices with poor quality LCD screens and unreadable fonts.

steve jobs Who Invented the iPod

The team comprising Jonathan Ive, Jon Rubinstein, Michael Dhuey, and Tony Fadell with Steve Jobs started looking for partners with existing components that could be adapted into the perfect mp3 player. Jonathan Ive worked closely with Steve Jobs in several previous projects and invented the eMate, as well as designing Apple’s minimalist design philosophy and has been described as the inventor of the iPod, while Michael Dhuey was one of the two designers of the Macintosh II.

Despite Apple’s reputation for designing everything in house, the first generation iPod actually adopted technology developed by other companies and brought everything together into a single device. The operating system used in the iPod was borrowed from PortalPlayer, and the user interface invented by Pixo.

By August 2001 the iPod was ready for the marketing team to start creating a brand around Apple’s new portable music player, and a group of technology journalists were invited to Cupertino, California to test drive the new device and help Apple develop a name for the product. Vinnie Chieco, a freelancer with a sense of humor immediately saw a resemblance between the shiny white player and the white EVA pods seen in 2001: A Space Oddyssey.

ipod nano Who Invented the iPod

Apple’s marketing and legal team discovered that the name I-Pod had already been trademarked by a company that manufactured internet kiosks, but fortunately for Apple these hadn’t sold well and it was possible for Apple to buy the name, which they then changed to iPod rather than the more cumbersome I-Pod. Vinnie Chieco’s fame lives on as the inventor of the iPod name, though he actually had little to do with it’s development.

In 2008, following the beginnings of a lawsuit with Burst.com who claimed to own the patent for a device similar to the iPod, Apple publicly acknowledged the work of a British man, Kane Kramer, who invented the iPod in 1979. Kramer and his business partner James Campbell designed a system that incorporated a music player with a four way navigation button and an interface that would allow songs to be downloaded from a catalog of music, similar to the iTunes store.

Learn about the history of the iPod.



About the Author:

Sam Reese is a web enthusiasts and blogger. He is a history student and loves to write and read histories of different things.

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