iPod First Generation Story

The beginning

Apple sent out their invitations with FedEx to a few selected reporters and tech-analysts. It arrived to them all wednesday 17 october 2001. It was a plain white envelope with a handwritten inscription. The card inside the envelope was spare, clean and white. There was a message inside the card:

This coming Tuesday, Apple invites you to the unveiling of a breakthrough digital device.
(Hint: it’s not a Mac).

The unveiling took place at 10 AM in Town Hall, an auditorium inside Apple HQ at Infinity Loop in Cupertino. The 200 invited guests didn’t realize then that they participated in an event revealing a product that would make a dent in the universe and change the way people listen to music for ever. The product was a new member to Apples “digital hub strategy”, a portable mp3 player that would fit in your pocket an hold a 1000 songs. At Apple it was known as P68 or Dulcimer. It was the iPod.


The first iPod was introduced October 23 2001 but wasn’t released to the market until November 10 when Apple shipped their first iPod. The music player was a “ultra-portable” mp3 player, only available to Macintosh users. It came as one size only and the price was $399. In the box you got the iPod, a charger, a FireWire cable, headphones with foam covers in light gray, a software CD and a manual and documentation.

The first generation iPod didn’t sell as well as expected, so in March 21 2002 Apple released a 10 GB model still only available to Macintosh users. The 5 GB model was the same, but the sleeve was different. Now the sleeve was marked with hard drive size. Some boxes came with artists on the sleeve. The 10 GB model came with Billie Holiday, Run DMC, Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis. The 5 GB model came with Bob Marley and Alanis Morissette. The only other difference was some brief operating instructions printed on the back side of the transparent cellophane wrapped around the iPod. The inside of the boxes and the accessories are the same as the original iPod. The price for the 5 GB model was $399 and the 10 GB model was $499. 5GB and 10GB produced after March 21 but before July 17 are often referred as 1.1 or 1.5 generation iPods.

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