Jeff Robin, Steve Jobs, Phil Schiller - September 26, 2002.
The iPod is a line of portable media players and multi-purpose pocket computers designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The first version was released on October 23, 2001, about 8½ months after iTunes (Macintosh version) was released.
As ordered by CEO Steve Jobs, Apple's hardware engineering chief Jon Rubinstein assembled a team of engineers to design the iPod line, including hardware engineers Tony Fadell and Michael Dhuey, and design engineer Sir Jonathan Ive.
Rubinstein had already discovered the Toshiba disk drive when meeting with an Apple supplier in Japan, and purchased the rights to it for Apple, and had also already worked out how the screen, battery, and other key elements would work. The aesthetic was inspired by the 1958 Braun T3 transistor radio designed by Dieter Rams, while the wheel based user interface was prompted by Bang & Olufsen's BeoCom 6000 telephone.
The product ("the Walkman of the twenty-first century" was developed in less than one year and unveiled on October 23, 2001. Jobs announced it as a Mac-compatible product with a 5 GB hard drive that put "1,000 songs in your pocket."
This invention completely changed the music space and accelerated the adoption of MP3 digital music files and a move away from CDs and other analog formats. Since October 2004, the iPod line 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.
This utility patent filed in the USPTO is entitled ‘Method and apparatus for use of rotational user inputs’. It focuses on the improved approaches for users of computing devices to interact with graphical user interfaces which in this case means an easier way to consume music.
A world beating product designed by a world class design team, the iPod is surely one of the greatest inventions of our generation.
Want to know more about the iPod patent print? We have created a description page here.