What people said about the iPod when it was first announced

Wed, Feb 3, 2010

Apple History, Featured, News

Given the perplexing backlash and seeming hatred being directed at the iPad, we thought it’d be somewhat instructive to go back in time and take a look at what some people were saying about the iPod when Steve Jobs first announced Apple’s first MP3 player back in October, 2001. When first released, the original iPod cost $399, came with a 5GB hard drive, was FireWire equipped, and had 10 hours of battery life. Still, many people at the time considered it too expensive while others were utterly unimpressed. Put simply, there’s a reason why Apple doesn’t let its customer base drive their product line.

Here are a few choice quotes courtesy from a now legendary forum thread on MacRumors.

– iPoop… iCry. I was so hoping for something more.

– Great just what the world needs, another freaking MP3 player. Go Steve! Where’s the Newton?!

– hey – heres an idea Apple – rather than enter the world of gimmicks and toys, why dont you spend a little more time sorting out your pathetically expensive and crap server line up? or are you really aiming to become a glorified consumer gimmicks firm?

– I still can’t believe this! All this hype for something so ridiculous! Who cares about an MP3 player? I want something new! I want them to think differently!
Why oh why would they do this?! It’s so wrong! It’s so stupid!

– gee! an mp3 player with a HD! how original! kinda reminds me of a JUKEBOX i once knew..

– $400 for an Mp3 Player!
I’d call it the Cube 2.0 as it wont sell, and be killed off in a short time…and it’s not really functional.
Uuhh Steve, can I have a PDA now?

– All that hype for an MP3 player? Break-thru digital device? The Reality Distiortion Field™ is starting to warp Steve’s mind if he thinks for one second that this thing is gonna take off.

– There are already two products similar to this on the market. The Nomad Jukebox and the Archos Jukebox which can come with a 20 gig HD. The iPod is obviously alot cooler and has firewire, but it is far from revolutionary. I for one am disappointed and think that apple is making a mistake by trying to get into this market.

– trully revolutionary MY ASSSS!

– … Won’t last. Another Cube.

– this really isn’t that revolutionary of a product. I have a Nomad Jukebox with a 6gig hardrive and it only cost me $250. It works great and syncs fine with the computer and the transfer is relativley fast. I don’t know what the big deal is. So…it works well with apple’s software….big deal, anyone can do that. There is nothing there of interest. It’s just a little but smaller, has a little better battery, and is $150 dollars more. Whatever…….this thing would be cool…..for $200.

– Any way you spin this it is:

1. Not revolutionary. Big capacity mp3 players already exist. With Creative Labs’ entrance into the firewire arena, future nomads will have similar specs and better prices.
2. A bad fit. This product is outside Apple’s core competancy – computing devices. When many are calling for a pda, they release an MP3 player.
3. Without a future. This Christmas you will see mp3 players be commoditized. Meaning that the players from Korea will be way less expensive tha iPod. The real money is in DRM and distribution (ala Real Musicnet). If Apple were smart they would be focusing on high gross revenue from services rather than a playback device.

– … Seems like Steve just wanted the coolest toy, regardless of its practicality…

– This iPod is for spoil rich kids with insane parents or an Apple fan as fannatic as a Taliban. It has good features but forget about getting it for $399!!!! Never, who gets that thing is a very stupid person. Steve Jobs is under terrible consuling or is under too much pot. This propusal is not realistic at all. If Apple does something like this again is going down. This unit may work for an audio engeneer to record some conference or rock band on the field in place of buying a expensive DAT machine, that is the only real good market this machinne is gonna have.

– 400 bucks for a MP3 player on steroid? That’s a real breaktrought, but in appl… ied stupidity! Anyway, what can you really expect from the man that killed the Newton because it was “without a keyboard” (cfr Jobs himself words, ca Feb. 1998).

– i just marvel at the squandered potential of such design and thought at the hands of junior college marketers and accountants. doesn’t anybody over there ever look at a price tag!? the painful reality is that the market wants to move down on price and up on features [exactly what is causing the current bloodletting in the ‘wintel’ world] and if apple could just come out with a product that was appealing [which they do every three months] and priced well out of the gate [which never happens] then the market might recognize the innovations for what they really are. but that initial sticker shock will forever keep people away.

– It’s a shame that Apple doesn’t have market awareness and released that yet again, has “missed the boat” before spending R&D, time and money on creating this now-novel audio device. You’d think they would’ve learnt from omitting CDRW drives from their machines a few years ago. Sure, it’s got the largest capacity for it’s size-class on the market, but I don’t think that’s enough to be called “revolutionary”, albeit something which could even attempt to steal thunder from MS’s XP release this week.

All I can say is that I’m really disappointed. So much hype and anticipation that it was hardly “groundbreaking”, moreso “heartbreaking”.


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12 Comments For This Post

  1. Dshank Says:

    Hahahaha. Some really great grammar towards the end there. All these idiots think they have such great deep insight, but really they are just stuck on the surface with so many other knee-jerk reactionaries full of preconceptions.

  2. Steve M Says:

    Love posts like these 🙂 Thanks for all the great quotes!



  4. pabugeater Says:

    I’d like to see names associated with the quotes …

  5. Dave Says:

    I don’t know the names associated with the quotes, but I remember like it was yesterday, all the nay saying about the iPod when it came out. Thanks for actually taking the time to round up all these quotes.

  6. Ebo Says:


  7. M Forgues Says:

    Thanks for the fun quotes! It would be really interesting to see what these people would say now. I bet they would defend their past opinions to death, providing us with yet more laughter.

    Delusions are hardest to remove from one’s psyche: Some people still believe that weather and climate are directly and significantly influenced by human activity. Go figure.

  8. Steve Says:

    I remember all that anti hype. I got a 20 GB iPod and paid $529, once I had it in my hands I was so happy and the envy of anyone who walked by. A $499 iPad is a steal with all the things it will do. Don’t listen to the anti hype, iPad is the coolest gadget that every kid on the block is gonna want. And if on release day The Steve announces “Oh! One more thing, It’s got a camera, I will be even happier!

  9. fring Says:

    Well it’s all about gambling really. You just keep going with the same policy of dissing Apple stuff and giving it a ‘fail’ until you hit the jackpot and it happens. They just want to be able to say ‘I told you so, I’m so clever’ There are enough numbskulls out there, who applaud it like mothers milk, to support them so on it goes. Those same numbskulls would aver the pope was a woman, the moon was salt beef and fried eggs grew on trees to support their precious prejudices. Such is life.


  10. AlfieJr Says:

    well, what they would probably say in their own defense is that the iPod didn’t really take off in popularity until the first Nano was released years later in 2005, with its smooth clickwheel, display, and lower price. if you look at iPod sales charts by year, that is true. Apple kept improving the iPod after this first model, and that was essential.

    they would also point out that it was the iTunes Store with single track buying in early 2003 that was the real breakthrough that pushed Apple ahead of the competition in the marketplace, which Apple then capitalized on by releasing a Windows version later that year.

    so i don’t think it’s really fair to bust these guys for not foreseeing all that in 2001. maybe Jobs knew, no one else did.

    today though everyone certainly should assume Apple will keep improving and augmenting the iPad in the future, just as it has the iPhone over the last 2+ years. but since this initial model is standing on the shoulders of the iPhone already, it is much further down the road than that first very basic iPod was in 2001.

  11. Matthew Says:


    The iPad, first reported over 10 years ago!

  12. KenC Says:

    Yep, those idiots that either dissed the iPod or the iPhone, ought to disqualify themselves from commenting on the iPad, or they should at least let us know, so that we can dismiss their comments for lack of demonstrated reasoning.

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