is a brand of portable media players designed and marketed by
Apple and launched in October 2001. The line-up currently consists of the
original style hard drive-based flagship iPod classic, the iPod touch, the
mid-level video-capable iPod nano, and the low-end screen less iPod shuffle.
Former products include the compact iPod mini (replaced by the iPod nano) and
the high-end spin-off iPod photo (re-integrated into the main iPod classic
line). iPod classic models store media on an internal hard drive, while all
other models, aside from the Microdrive-based mini, use flash memory to enable
their smaller size. As with many other digital music players, iPods can also
serve as external data storage devices.
Apple's iTunes new software is used to transfer music to the devices. As a
jukebox application, iTunes stores a music library on the user's computer and
can play, burn, and rip music from a CD. It also transfers photos, videos,
games, and calendars to those iPod models that support them. Apple focused its
development on the iPod's unique user interface and its ease of use, rather than
on technical capability. As of September 2007, the iPod had sold over 110
million units worldwide (stated in "The Beat Goes On" conference) making it the
best-selling digital audio player series in history.
iPod came from Apple's digital hub strategy,
when the company began creating software for the growing market of digital
devices being purchased by consumers. Digital cameras, camcorders and organizers
had well-established mainstream markets, but the company found existing digital
music players "big and clunky or small and useless" with user interfaces that
were "unbelievably awful,"
so Apple decided to develop its own. Apple's hardware engineering chief, Jon
Rubinstein, ordered by Steve Jobs, assembled a team of engineers to design it,
including Tony Fadell, hardware engineer Michael Dhuey, and design engineer
Jonathan Ive, with Stan Ng as the marketing manager. The product was developed
in less than a year and unveiled on October 23, 2001. CEO Steve Jobs announced
it as a Mac-compatible product with a 5 GB hard drive that put "1000 songs in
Uncharacteristically, Apple did not develop iPod's software entirely
in-house. Apple instead used PortalPlayer's reference platform which was based
on 2 ARM cores. The platform had rudimentary software running on a commercial
microkernel embedded operating system. PortalPlayer had previously been working
on an IBM-branded MP3 player with Bluetooth headphones.
Apple contracted another company, Pixo, to help design and implement the user
interface, under the direct supervision of Steve Jobs.
Once established, Apple continued to refine the software's look and feel.
Starting with iPod mini, the Chicago font was replaced with Espy Sans. Later
iPods switched fonts again to Podium Sans — a font similar to Apple's corporate
font Myriad. iPods with color displays then adopted some Mac OS X themes like
Aqua progress bars, and brushed metal in the lock interface. In 2007, Apple
modified the iPod interface again with the introduction of the sixth-generation
iPod classic and third-generation iPod nano by changing the font to Helvetica,
and in most cases, splitting the screen in half by displaying the menus on the
left and album artwork, photos, or videos on the right (whichever was
appropriate for the selected item).
The name iPod was proposed by Vinnie Chieco, a freelance copywriter,
who (with others) was called by Apple to figure out how to introduce the new
player to the public. After Chieco saw a prototype, he thought of the movie
2001: A Space Odyssey and the phrase "Open the pod bay door, Hal!", which
refers to the white EVA Pods of the Discovery One spaceship.
Apple researched the trademark and found that it was already in use. Joseph N.
Grasso of New Jersey had originally listed an "iPod" trademark with the U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office in July 2000 for Internet kiosks. The first iPod
kiosks had been demonstrated to the public in New Jersey in March 1998, and
commercial use began in January 2000. The trademark was registered by the USPTO
in November 2003, and Grasso assigned it to Apple Computer, Inc. in 2005.
The iPod line can play several audio file formats including MP3, AAC/M4A,
Protected AAC, AIFF, WAV, Audible audiobook, and Apple Lossless. The iPod Photo
introduced the ability to display JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, and PNG image file
formats. Fifth and sixth generation iPod Classics, as well as third generation
iPod Nanos, can additionally play MPEG-4 (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC) and QuickTime video
formats, with restrictions on video dimensions, encoding techniques and
data-rates. Originally, iPod
software only worked with Mac OS; iPod software for Microsoft Windows was
launched with the second generation model.
Unlike most other media players, Apple does not support Microsoft's WMA audio
format—but a converter for WMA files without Digital Rights Management (DRM) is
provided with the Windows version of iTunes. MIDI files also cannot be played,
but can be converted to audio files using the "Advanced" menu in iTunes.
Alternative open-source audio formats, such as Ogg Vorbis and FLAC, are not
supported without installing custom firmware onto an iPod (e.g. Rockbox).
During installation, an iPod is associated with one host computer. Each time
an iPod connects to its host computer, iTunes can synchronize entire music
libraries or music playlists either automatically or manually. Song ratings can
be set on an iPod and synchronized later to the iTunes library, and vice versa.
A user can access, play, and add music on a second computer if an iPod is set to
manual and not automatic sync, but anything added or edited will be reversed
upon connecting and syncing with the main computer and its library. If a user
wishes to automatically sync music with another computer, an iPod's library will
be entirely wiped and replaced with the other computer's library.
iPods with color displays use anti-aliased graphics and text, with sliding
animations. Classic iPods have five buttons and the later generations have the
buttons integrated into the click wheel — an innovation which gives an
uncluttered, minimalist interface. The buttons perform basic functions such as
play, next track, etc. Other operations such as scrolling through menu items and
controlling the volume are performed by using the click wheel in a rotational
manner. iPod shuffle does not have a click wheel and instead has five buttons
positioned differently from the larger models. iPod touch uses no buttons for
any of these functions, instead relying on the same Multi-touch input style like
The iTunes Store is an online media store run by Apple and accessed via
iTunes. It was introduced on April 29, 2003 and it sells individual songs, with
typical prices being US $0.99, AU $1.69 (inc. GST), NZ $1.79 (inc. GST), €0.99
(inc. VAT), or £0.79 (inc. VAT) per song. Since no other portable player
supports the DRM used, only iPods can play protected content from the iTunes
store. The store became the market leader soon after its launch
and Apple announced the sale of videos through the store on October 12, 2005.
Full-length movies became available on September 12, 2006.
Purchased audio files use the AAC format with added encryption. The
encryption is based on the FairPlay DRM system. Up to five authorized computers
and an unlimited number of iPods can play the files. Burning the files onto an
audio CD, then re-compressing can create music files without the DRM, although
this results in reduced quality. The DRM can also be removed using third-party
software. However, in a deal with Apple, EMI began selling DRM-free,
higher-quality songs on the iTunes Stores, in a category called "iTunes Plus."
While individual songs were made available at a cost of US$1.29, 30¢ more than
the cost of a regular DRM song, entire albums were available for the same price,
US$9.99, as DRM encoded albums. On October 17, 2007, Apple lowered the cost of
individual iTunes Plus songs to US$.99 per song, the same as DRM encoded tracks.
iPods cannot play music files from competing music stores that use rival-DRM
technologies like Microsoft's protected WMA or RealNetworks' Helix DRM. Example
stores include Napster and MSN Music. RealNetworks claims that Apple is creating
problems for itself by using
FairPlay to lock users into using the iTunes Store. Steve Jobs has stated that
Apple makes little profit from song sales, although Apple uses the store to
promote iPod sales. However, iPods
can also play music files from online stores that do not use DRM, such as eMusic
or Amie Street.
On July 3, 2007, Universal Music Group decided not to renew their contract
with the iTunes music store. Universal will now supply iTunes in an 'at will'
On September 5, 2007, at Apple's Media Event entitled "The Beat Goes On...",
the company debuted the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store which allows one to access the
Music Store from either iPhone or the new WiFi-enabled iPod Touch and download
songs directly to the device. When you next sync the device with iTunes, any
purchased music is copied onto your iTunes Library.
storage and transfer
All iPods can function as mass storage devices to store data files. If the
iPod is formatted on a Mac OS X computer it uses the HFS+ file system format,
which allows it to serve as a boot disk for a Mac computer.
If it is formatted on Windows, the FAT32 format is used. With the advent of the
Windows-compatible iPod, iPod's default file system switched from HFS+ to FAT32,
although it can be reformatted to either filesystem (excluding the iPod shuffle
which is strictly FAT32). Generally, if a new iPod (excluding the iPod shuffle)
is initially plugged into a computer running Windows, it will be formatted with
FAT32, and if initially plugged into a Mac running Mac OS X it will be formatted
Unlike many other MP3 players, simply copying audio or video files to the
drive with a typical file management application will not allow iPod to properly
access them. The user must use software that has been specifically designed to
transfer media files to iPods, so that the files are playable and viewable.
Aside from iTunes, several alternative third-party applications are available on
a number of different platforms.
iTunes 7 and above can transfer purchased media of the iTunes Store from an
iPod to a computer, provided that the DRM media is transferred to any of the
five computers allowed for authorization with DRM media.
Media files are stored on the iPod in a hidden folder, together with a
proprietary database file. The hidden content can be accessed on the host
operating system by enabling hidden files to be shown. The audio can then be
recovered manually by dragging the files or folders onto the iTunes Library or
by using third-party software.
If the sound is enhanced with the iPod's software equalizer (EQ), some EQ
settings — like R&B, Rock, Acoustic,indie, and Bass Booster — can cause bass
distortion too easily.
The equalizer amplifies the digital audio level beyond the software's limit,
causing distortion (clipping) on songs that have a bass drum or use a bassy
instrument, even when the amplifier level is low. One possible workaround is to
reduce the volume level of the songs by modifying the audio files.
Chipsets and electronics
- iPod first to third generations — Two ARM 7TDMI-derived CPUs running at
- iPod fourth and fifth generations, iPod mini, iPod nano first generation
— Variable-speed ARM 7TDMI CPUs, running at a peak of 80 MHz to save battery
- iPod nano second generation — Samsung System-On-Chip, based around an
- iPod shuffle first generation — SigmaTel STMP3550 chip that handles both
the music decoding and the audio circuitry.
- All iPods (except the shuffle and 6G) use audio codecs developed by
- Sixth generation iPods use a Cirrus Logic audio codec chip.
- iPod first to fifth generation — 45.7 mm (1.8 in) hard drives (ATA-6,
4200 rpm with proprietary connectors) made by Toshiba
- iPod mini — 25.4 mm (1 in) Microdrives manufactured by Hitachi and
- iPod nano — Flash memory from Samsung, Toshiba, and others.
- iPod shuffle — Flash memory
- iPod first and second generation, nano, shuffle — Internal lithium
- iPod third to fifth generation — Internal lithium-ion batteries
Originally, a FireWire connection to the host computer was used to update
songs or recharge the battery. The battery could also be charged with a power
adapter that was included with the first four generations. The third generation
began including a dock connector, allowing for FireWire or USB connectivity.
This provided better compatibility with PCs, as most of them did not have
FireWire ports at the time. The dock connector also brought opportunities to
exchange data, sound and power with an iPod, which ultimately created a large
market of accessories, manufactured by third parties such as Belkin and Griffin.
The second generation iPod shuffle uses a single 3.5 mm jack which acts as both
a headphone jack and a data port for the dock.
Eventually Apple began shipping iPods with USB cables instead of FireWire,
although the latter was available separately. As of the first generation iPod
nano and the fifth generation iPod classic, Apple discontinued using FireWire
for data transfer and made a full transition to USB 2.0 in an attempt to reduce
cost and form factor. With these changes, FireWire could only be used for
Introduced in the third-generation iPod, the iPod's 30-pin Dock Connector
allows iPods to be connected to a variety of accessories, which can range from
televisions to speaker systems. Some peripherals utilize their own interface,
while others use the iPod's own screen for access. Such accessories may be used
for music, video, and photo playback. Because the Dock Connector is a
proprietary interface, the implementation of the interface requires paying
royalties to Apple.
Many accessories have been made for the iPod. A large amount are made by
third party companies, although many, such as iPod Hi-Fi, are made by Apple.
This market is sometimes described as the iPod ecosystem.
Some accessories add extra features that other music players have, such as sound
recorders, FM radio tuners, wired remote controls, and audio/visual cables for
TV connections. Other accessories offer unique features like the Nike+iPod
pedometer and the iPod Camera Connector. Other notable accessories include
external speakers, wireless remote controls, protective cases/films and wireless
earphones. Among the first
accessory manufacturers were Griffin Technology, Belkin, JBL, Bose, Monster
Cable, and SendStation.
The white earphones (or "earbuds") that ship with all iPods have become
symbolic of the brand. Advertisements feature them prominently, often
contrasting the white earphones (and cords) with people shown as dark
silhouettes. The original earphones came with the first generation iPod. They
were revised to be smaller after Apple received complaints of the earbuds being
too large. The revised earphones were shipped with second through early fifth
generation iPods, the iPod mini, and the first generation nanos. The earbuds
were revised again in 2006, featuring an even smaller and more streamlined
design. This third type was shipped with late fifth generation iPods and the
second generation nanos. All first generation iPod shuffles and the second
generation up until January 30, 2007 (when color models were introduced) had the
second kind; those that shipped after that date had the third kind.
In 2005, New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority placed
advertisements on the subways warning passengers that "Earphones are a giveaway.
Protect your device", after iPod
thefts on the subway rose from zero in 2004 to 50 in the first three months of
BMW released the first iPod automobile interface,
allowing drivers of newer BMW vehicles to control their iPod using either the
built-in steering wheel controls or the radio head-unit buttons. Apple announced
in 2005 that similar systems would be available for other vehicle brands,
including Mercedes-Benz, Volvo,
Nissan, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari,
Acura, Audi, Honda, Renault and
Volkswagen. Scion offers standard
iPod connectivity on all their cars.
Some independent stereo manufacturers including JVC, Pioneer, Kenwood,
Alpine, Sony, and Harman Kardon also have iPod-specific integration solutions.
Alternative connection methods include adaptor kits (that use the cassette deck
or the CD changer port), audio input jacks, and FM transmitters such as the
iTrip — although personal FM transmitters are illegal in some countries. Many
car manufacturers have added audio input jacks as standard.
Beginning in mid-2007, four major airlines, United, Continental, Delta, and
Emirates reached agreements to install iPod seat connections. The free service
will allow passengers to power and charge their iPod, and view their video and
music libraries on individual seat-back displays.
Originally KLM and Air France were reported to be part of the deal with Apple,
but they later released statements explaining that they were only contemplating
the possibility of incorporating such systems.
The advertised battery life on most models is different from the real-world
achievable life. For example, the fifth generation 30 GB iPod is advertised as
having up to 14 hours of music playback. An MP3.com report stated that this was
virtually unachievable under real-life usage conditions, with a writer for
MP3.com getting on average less than 8 hours from his or her iPod.
In 2003, class action lawsuits were brought against Apple complaining that the
battery charges lasted for shorter lengths of time than stated and that the
battery degraded over time. The
lawsuits were settled by offering individuals either US$50 store credit or a
free battery replacement.
iPod batteries are not designed to be removed or replaced by the user,
although some users have been able to open the case themselves, usually
following instructions from third-party vendors of iPod replacement batteries.
Compounding the problem, Apple initially would not replace worn-out batteries.
The official policy was that the customer should buy a refurbished replacement
iPod, at a cost almost equivalent to a brand new one. All lithium-ion batteries
eventually lose capacity during their lifetime
(guidelines are available for prolonging life-span) and this situation led to a
small market for third-party battery replacement kits.
Apple announced a battery replacement program on November 14, 2003, a week
before a high publicity stunt and
website by the Neistat Brothers.
The initial cost was US$99, and it
was lowered to US$59 in 2005. One week later, Apple offered an extended iPod
warranty for US$59. For the iPod
nano, soldering tools are needed because the battery is soldered onto the main
board. Fifth generation iPods have their battery attached to the backplate with
The third generation iPod had a weak bass response, as shown in audio tests.
The combination of the undersized DC-blocking capacitors and the typical
low-impedance of most consumer headphones form a high-pass filter, which
attenuates the low-frequency bass output. Similar capacitors were used in the
fourth generation iPods. The
problem is reduced when using high-impedance headphones and is completely masked
when driving high-impedance (line level) loads, such as an external headphone
amplifier. The first generation iPod shuffle uses a dual-transistor output stage rather than a single capacitor-coupled output, and does
not exhibit reduced bass response for any load.
The iPod has been upgraded many times, and each significant revision is
called a "generation". Only the most recent (highest numbered) generation of the
iPod is available from Apple for each model (classic, nano, shuffle, touch).
Each new generation usually has more features and refinements while typically
being physically smaller and lighter than its predecessor, while usually (but
not always) retaining the older model's price tag. Notable changes include the
touch-sensitive click wheel replacing the mechanical scroll wheel, use of colour
displays, and flash memory replacing hard disks.
||Original release date
||Minimum OS to sync
||Rated battery life (hours)
|5, 10 GB
||23 October 2001
||Mac: 9, 10.1
|First model, with mechanical scroll wheel. 10 GB model
||10, 20 GB
||17 July 2002
|Touch-sensitive wheel. FireWire port had a cover. Hold
switch revised. Windows compatibility through Musicmatch.
||10, 15, 20, 30, 40 GB
||FireWire (USB for syncing only)
||28 April 2003
|First complete redesign with all-touch interface, dock
connector, and slimmer case. Musicmatch support dropped with later
release of iTunes 4.1 for Windows.
|20, 40 GB
||FireWire or USB
||19 July 2004
|Adopted Click Wheel from iPod Mini, hold switch
30, 40, 60 GB
|FireWire or USB
||26 October 2004
20, 60 GB
|28 June 2005
|Premium spin-off of 4G iPod with color screen and
picture viewing. Later re-integrated into main iPod line.
||30, 60, 80 GB
||USB (FireWire for charging only)
||12 October 2005
|Second full redesign with a slimmer case, and larger
screen with video playback. Offered in black or white. Hardware and
firmware updated with 60 GB model replaced with 80 GB model on 12
||80, 120, 160 GB
||USB (FireWire for charging only)
||5 September 2007
|Introduced the "Classic" suffix. New interface and
anodized aluminum front plate. Silver replaces white. In September 2008
the hardware and firmware was updated with a 120 GB model replacing the
80 GB model. The 160 GB model was discontinued.
||USB or FireWire
||6 January 2004
|New smaller model, available in 5 colors. Introduced the
||4, 6 GB
||USB or FireWire
||22 February 2005
|Brighter color variants with longer battery life. Click
Wheel lettering matched body color. Gold colour discontinued. Later
replaced by iPod Nano.
|1, 2, 4 GB
||USB (FireWire for charging only)
||7 September 2005
|Replaced Mini. Available in black or white and
used flash memory. Color screen for picture viewing. 1 GB version
||2, 4, 8 GB
||USB (FireWire for charging only)
||12 September 2006
|Anodized aluminum casing and 6 colors available.
||4, 8 GB
||USB (FireWire for charging only)
||5 September 2007
|2" QVGA screen, colors refreshed with chrome back, new
interface, video capability, smaller Click Wheel.
||4, 8, 16 GB
||9 September 2008
|Revert to tall form and all-aluminum enclosure with 9
color choices, added accelerometer for shake and horizontal viewing.
4 GB model limited release in select markets.
|512 MB, 1 GB
(no adaptor required)
|11 January 2005
|New entry-level model. Uses flash memory and has no
||1, 2 GB
||12 September 2006
|Smaller clip design with anodized aluminum casing. 4
color options added later. Colors were later refreshed twice.
|8, 16, 32 GB
||USB (FireWire for charging only)
||5 September 2007
|First iPod with Wi-Fi and a Multi-Touch interface.
Features Safari browser and wireless access to the iTunes Store and
YouTube. 32 GB model later added. iPhone OS 2.0 and App Store access
requires an upgrade fee.
||8, 16, 32 GB
||9 September 2008
|New tapered chrome back with Nike+ functionality, volume
buttons, and built-in speaker added. iPhone OS 2.0 and App Store access
Sources: Apple Inc. model database,
The software bundled with the first generation iPod was Macintosh-only, so
Windows users had to use third-party software like ephPod or XPlay to manage
their music. When Apple introduced the second generation of iPods in July 2002,
they sold two versions, one that included iTunes for Macintosh users and another
that included Musicmatch Jukebox for Windows users.
In October 2003, Apple released the Windows version of iTunes,
and started selling iPods that included both Macintosh and Windows versions of
iTunes so that they could be used with either platform. Current iPods no longer
ship with iTunes, which must be downloaded from Apple's website.
In December 2002, Apple unveiled its first limited edition iPods, with either
Madonna’s, Tony Hawk’s, or Beck’s signature or No Doubt's band logo engraved on
the back for an extra US$50. On
October 26, 2004, Apple introduced a special edition of its fourth generation
monochrome iPod, designed in the color scheme of the album How to Dismantle
an Atomic Bomb by Irish rock band U2. It had a black case with a red click
wheel and the back had the engraved signatures of U2's band members. This iPod
was updated alongside the iPod photo and fifth generation iPod.
On October 13, 2006, Apple released a special edition 4 GB red iPod nano as
part of the (PRODUCT)RED campaign. An 8 GB version was released three
weeks later and both of them sold for the same price as the standard models.
US$10 from each sale is donated to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis &
Malaria. On September 5, 2007, Apple also added a (PRODUCT)RED iPod
shuffle model. They did not disclose how much will be donated to charity from
this model. Apple also released Special Edition Harry Potter iPods to accompany
the iPod photo. These were engraved with the Hogwarts Crest on the back and were
only available to purchasers of the Harry Potter audiobooks. They were
updated when the fifth generation iPods were released, but were only available
for a limited time.
Reliability and durability
iPods have been criticized for their short life-span, fragile hard drives,
and planned obsolescence.
A 2005 survey conducted on the MacInTouch website found that the iPod had an
average failure rate of 13.7%. It concluded that some models were more durable
than others. In particular,
failure rates for iPods employing hard drives was usually above 20% while those
with flash memory had a failure rate below 10%, indicating poor hard drive
durability. In late 2005, many users complained that the surface of the first
generation iPod nano can become scratched easily, rendering the screen unusable.
A class action lawsuit was also filed.
Apple initially considered the issue a minor defect, but later began shipping
these iPods with protective sleeves.
Allegations of worker exploitation
On June 11, 2006, the British newspaper Mail on Sunday reported that
iPods are mainly manufactured by workers who earn no more than US$50 per month
and work 15-hour shifts. Apple
investigated the case with independent auditors and found that, while some of
the plant's labour practices met Apple's Code of Conduct, others did not:
Employees worked over 60 hours a week for 35% of the time, and worked more than
six consecutive days for 25% of the time.
Apple's manufacturer — which initially denied the abuses
— promised to disallow working more hours than the Code allowed. Apple hired a
workplace standards auditing company, Verité, and joined the Electronic Industry
Code of Conduct Implementation Group to oversee the measures. On December 31,
2006, workers at the Taiwanese factory (owned by Foxconn) formed a union. The
union is affiliated with the All-China Federation of Trade Unions.
In 2005, Apple Computer faced two lawsuits claiming patent infringement by
the iPod and its associated technologies:
Advanced Audio Devices claimed the iPod breached its patent on a "music
jukebox", while a Hong Kong-based
IP portfolio company called Pat-rights filed a suit claiming that Apple's
FairPlay technology breached a patent
issued to inventor Ho Keung Tse. The latter case also includes the online music
stores of Sony, RealNetworks, Napster, and Musicmatch as defendants.
Apple's application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a
patent on "rotational user inputs",
as used on the iPod's interface, received a third "non-final rejection" (NFR) in
August 2005. Also in August 2005, Creative Technology, one of Apple's main
rivals in the MP3 player market, announced that it held a patent
on part of the music selection interface used by the iPod, which Creative dubbed
the "Zen Patent", granted on August 9, 2005.
On May 15, 2006, Creative filed another suit against Apple with the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California. Creative also
asked the United States International Trade Commission to investigate whether
Apple was breaching U.S. trade laws by importing iPods into the United States.
On August 24, 2006, Apple and Creative announced a broad settlement to end
their legal disputes. Apple will pay Creative US$100 million for a paid-up
license, to use Creative's awarded patent in all Apple products. As part of the
agreement, Apple will recoup part of its payment, if Creative is successful in
licensing the patent. Creative then announced its intention to produce iPod
accessories by joining the Made for iPod program.
October 2004, the iPod has dominated digital music player sales in the United
States, with over 90% of the market for hard drive-based players and over 70% of
the market for all types of players.
During the year from January 2004 to January 2005, the high rate of sales caused
its U.S. market share to increase from 31% to 65% and in July 2005, this market
share was measured at 74%.
The release of the iPod mini helped to ensure this success at a time when
competing flash-based music players were once dominant.
On January 8, 2004, Hewlett-Packard (HP) announced that they would sell
HP-branded iPods under a license agreement from Apple. Several new retail
channels were used—including Wal-Mart—and these iPods eventually made up 5% of
all iPod sales. In July 2005, HP stopped selling iPods due to unfavorable terms
and conditions imposed by Apple.
In January 2007, Apple reported record quarterly revenue of US$7.1 billion,
of which 48% was made from iPod sales.
On April 9, 2007, it was announced that Apple had sold its one-hundred
millionth iPod, making it the biggest selling digital music player of all time.
In April 2007, Apple reported second quarter revenue of US$5.2 billion, of which
32% was made from iPod sales.
Apple and several industry analysts suggest that iPod users are likely to
purchase other Apple products such as Mac computers.
On September 5, 2007, during their "The Beat Goes On" event, Apple announced
that the iPod had surpassed 110 million units sold.
On October 22, 2007, Apple reported quarterly revenue of US$6.22 billion, of
which 30.69% came from Apple notebook sales, 19.22% from desktop sales and 26%
from iPod sales. Apple's 2007 year revenue increased to US$24.01 billion with
US$3.5 billion in profits. Apple ended the fiscal year 2007 with US$15.4 billion
in cash and no debt.
iPods have won several awards ranging from engineering excellence,
to most innovative audio product,
to fourth best computer product of 2006.
iPods often receive favorable reviews; scoring on looks, clean design, and ease
of use. PC World says that iPods have "altered the landscape for portable audio
industries are modifying their products to work better with both the iPod and
the AAC audio format. Examples include CD copy-protection schemes,
and mobile phones, such as phones from Sony Ericsson and Nokia, which play AAC
files rather than WMA. Microsoft's Zune device also supports AAC and it has
adopted a similar closed DRM model used by iPods and the iTunes Store, despite
Microsoft previously marketing the benefits of choice with their PlaysForSure
initiative. Podcasts and download charts have also had mainstream adoption.
In addition to its reputation as a respected entertainment device, the iPod
has also become accepted as a business device. Government departments, major
institutions and international organisations have turned to the iPod as a
delivery mechanism for business communication and training, such as the Royal
and Western Infirmaries in Glasgow, Scotland where iPods are used to train new