iPod Announcement Five Years Ago

Every now and then when new products are announced, I like to take a moment and go back to read the Mac Rumors forum thread from when the iPod was first announced.


It only gets better the further you go. Arguments one after the next explaining why the iPod will be a collosal failure and clearly spells doom for Apple.

It’s just a cheerful reminder to be a bit more humble in making predictions and assertions, and one i will try to keep in mind more often (although, in the spirit of the above, I offer no guarantee).

72 thoughts on “iPod Announcement Five Years Ago


    Er, no.
    I just didn’t have anything more interesting/educated/amusing/all-around-better to say.

    I don’t like the iPod interface, anyway.
    So… yeah.

  2. This is, like, the opposite of Schadenfreude. AWESOME.

    “Glee at the failure of bad things not happening after all.”

  3. D amir: My favorite part is how they all say “if it’s successful, it will be because it’s a good FireWire drive. FireWire is the only saving grace of this product.”

  4. Here are my iphone concerns:

    1. I expect a way huge battery life on cell phones. I need them to last a few days at a time. Will this device be able to maintain a realistic cell phone battery life powering that beautiful screen and mp3 player?

    2. Speaking of the screen, I’m concerned about carrying that thing around. If I put a screen protector on it, will the touch screen capabilities still work? If not, how do I protect the screen? Do I put it in a carrying case and ruin the aesthetics and accessibility? Will it scratch easily in my pocket?

    3. $600 AFTER a 2 year contract, for a phone that isn’t targetting suits? Holy wow. I could get plane tickets to Reno, shoot a man, and steal his pie.

    But hey, apple is good at two things: design and marketing. It’s easy enough to idolize this thing from the tech demos where it stays in pristine condition all the time. Seriously though, use your imagination for a minute and pretend you own one of these things as you go about your daily chores.

    See you all in six years, after the iphone nano came out and people link here to laugh at my foolish inaccurate predictions.

  5. I always have to consciously remember which pocket holds my keys, just to prevent scratching the screen on my phone.

    I hate being conscious.

  6. That’s why I put my keys in my jacket pocket. What with global warming (and when summer will come), that won’t really work for long. But, then I could use my backpocket, I rarely sit down except at work/home/bar/whatnot, where I can take keys out and put them on the table/desk.

  7. That macrumors forum thread is awesome. My favorite of the lot:

    “I’d call [the iPod] the Cube 2.0 as it wont sell, and be killed off in a short time…and it’s not really functional.”

    I wonder where that Nostrowannabedamus is today. Probably working in McDonalds, standing at the fryalator, rocking out to The Killers on his Nano.

  8. I think we should message the few people optimistic for the iPod’s future at the time and congratulate them.

    I also just noticed that people from Verizon can’t leave replies because they’ll get caught as spam. That’s hardly fair now is it?

  9. This whole… internets thing. It’ll never catch on. Mark my words, it’s destined for failure.

  10. This reminds me of a t-shirt I found on sale three years ago and still wear occasionally. It says:

    It’s Coming…

    I never explain to people why I wear this shirt because I like to believe that if they don’t intuitively understand, they never will.

  11. I spent the the last several hours of 1999 running the network for our emergency team, just in case our software screwed up and we needed to support our customers in getting their electric power grids back online. When the Snowy Mountain Scheme in Australia passed into 2000 without disaster, and then the rest of our customers around the world made it into the new year safely, I wasn’t at all sorry that we’d “wasted” the time and missed the parties.

    Getting past 01-01-19100 wasn’t any accident.

  12. “I really wanted to like it. Really. But do the math:

    20GB hard drive: $199 from APS tech.

    MP3 player: $50 from Best Buy.

    You save $150 plus get an extra 15 Gig of storage!”

    It’s amazing that 5 years ago $199 was a good deal for 20 gigs. My friend just picked up a 500 gig for $120. But in sentiment, I actually agree with him- I’ve never owned an ipod for that reason.

  13. You can see why Apple really had to make a phone to keep their iPod business alive long term. Most new phones have an mp3 player built in these days and a lot of them take memory sticks which can hold up to a few gigs of music.

    This must be eroding their iPod market.

  14. I didn’t think MySpace would catch on. I says to them I says, we already have Friendster, why would anyone go to MySpace?

    And ha-ha at iglasses.

  15. You laugh at iGlasses, but just imagine a complete desktop (with internet browser, all your files, probably some games) controlled with eye motions.

    When it comes to the future, guess crazy; because if you guess something normal like ‘by 1987, we’ll have bigger TVs” you look like an imbecile, but if you hit on the next big thing, ‘a bunch of super-powerful typewriters connected by tubes and tv screens!’ then you sound like f’ing Nostradamus.

  16. The real challenge Apple faces is making sure that all of the multitude of cool gadgets they throw into the iPhone remain functional and retain the quality they would have as an autonomous product. That’s where previous cell phones chock full of mp3 players or cameras have failed.

  17. I’ve seen something similar on Slashdot. One of the posts listed flaws that the original iPod had. What’s funny is that none of the flaws are flaws the iPod has now. I suspect the iPhone will be similar(the Cingular thing, for example)

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  19. Well, to be honest they were right, the iPod was bad. For some reason everyone on the planet bought one. Then they all broke and everyone bought another one. It made me cry.

    I guess that marketing is more important than creating a product that’s actually good.

  20. They were right, not about whether it would be successful, but whether it should be successful. It shouldn’t have been successful just as the iPhone shouldn’t be successful…just like you shouldn’t buy shares in Apple unless you are gambling on something that defies logic.

    The iPod was succesful because it had white headphones

  21. The iPod wasn’t all that bad. And now you won’t find a person without one. People don’t buy (and keep buying) products that suck.

    I don’t think the iPhone will be all that bad. Apple makes fine products, after all, but if there is a problem, my money’s on it being with Cingular.

  22. I use to work for a nonprofit that tracked money in politics. One day, after a surprise political upset (I think it was the indictment of Tom DeLay on charges of the mishandling of funds) I said to my boss, “My guess is that the experts — the really good ones — are only right about half the time.” And he said, “Are you kidding? If THAT.”

    But you can broaden that statement to experts of any field and to most people in general. Mostly we’re wrong.

  23. Now the difference is the +5 comments on slashdot said that the iPod was really cool when it was released.

    The +5 comments on slashdot said the iPhone was lame when it was released.

    The +5 comments on slashdot are always right!

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  25. The iPod should have bombed. People are like sheep, which is why the iPod didn’t bomb. That being said, sheep seem to have been quite successful evolutionarily. I mean, they have a whole caretaker species. Now if only we could find a race of superpowerful aliens that enjoy our meat. Or better yet, that enjoy us as pets. We’d have won at life; we would never have to do any serious work ever again yet we’d be able to spend our days in total leisure and would have our necessities handed to us. Just look at housecats. Maybe I’m a bit off-topic. Anyway, you know, iPods and stuff.

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  31. What’s with all the horrible stuff in the last few posts?

    I don’t own an iPod (SHOCK AND HORROR!) I don’t have 600 gigabytes of music. I don’t have iTunes, either! (SACRELIGE!) What will I do? I have a little mp3 player that holds 32 songs on a good day (128 Meg) but still! I don’t use it that much. The only one that is a good idea for me is a Shuffle, if I need an iPod.

  32. scwizard:
    That comment about the +5 slashdot comments is really interesting, I can’t wait to see how this plays out. It was really funny reading all of the doomsday predictions lol

  33. I hate the iPod because it is an icon of marketing. It’s pretty, decent quality I guess, and probably easy to use if you don’t expect much. But you can get much better players for the price.
    At the moment I’m a foreign student student in Norway, and everybody here wears Koss Porta Pro headphones – they are actually very good and look rather… unusual. As in pretty strange. Norway 1, USA 0. (I’m German.)
    Also, can Slashdot *please* stop all the iPhone stories? Oh well, reading Slashdot is a waste of time anyway.

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  36. That’s why I put my keys in my jacket pocket. What with global warming (and when summer will come), that won’t really work for long. But, then I could use my backpocket, I rarely sit down except at work/home/bar/whatnot, where I can take keys out and put them on the table/desk.

  37. Even more hilarious when seeing it occasionally interrupted with adverts by various websites about them selling ipod classic 160gb

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