In the wake of the big iPhone anniversary, I’m reminded of the first Apple device I bought for myself.
When the iPod was released it gave a level of musical freedom and opportunity, not felt since the Walkman. Others tried to mass market an MP3 player, but for various reasons couldn’t get a hold of the market.
It was late 2004 and another major Apple shift forward would give the iconic device some Edge. The first iPod with colour, and more than that, a branded experience to make an exclusive device even more so.
Beyond the sleek black front face with a red click wheel, was a bundle of goodies including the complete digital U2 collection, an iTunes gift card and all the cables, headphones and connectors you’d need.
It even came partially charged to get started right away, something that was rare at the time. The experience of opening the box and seeing the contents was carefully planned, it was meant to draw you in and it worked well.
In that one box, was everything I needed to bring all the music I cared about with me every day for almost a decade.
While the battery no longer holds a charge and the hard drive has started to fail, my iPod sits comfortably docked in my alarm clock still happily playing music and audio books.
It’s hard to imagine the number of people and level of detail required to build such a device. Not just that, but crafting the experience and building a sense of inclusiveness.
It was an effort worth the cost to build that kind of relationship. It was clear that Apple didn’t set out to make some widget, they wanted to enrich the experience around something you care about.
There are not many products that I’ve owned that have lasted so long or made me so thankful to have bought it in the first place.