One of the brains behind the iPod, Tony Fadell, is leaving Apple after seven years at the company.
Fadell is often credited with the initial idea of marrying a music store, such as Napster, with a portable, hard drive-based music player. He approached Apple with his idea, and was hired in 2001, tasked him with turning his vision into reality.
Apple was in the market for this sort of device to follow hot on the heels of the iMac, which re-launched Apple as a maker of fashionable consumer devices. The success of Napster led Steve Jobs to ask the company’s engineers to look into designing a device that would enable people to play MP3s on-the-go.
Chingford-born Jonathan Ive is another Apple engineer who is often credited as the creator of the iPod. His department, Industrial Design, also devised the iMac and the PowerBook G4.
The name given to the device is just as iconic as the design. Apple approached a number of copyrighters to come up with a name, tasking them with making the device appealing to the general public.
Vinnie Chieco is generally credited with giving the MP3 player the name iPod. It is said his inspiration was 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the white EVA Pods of the Discovery One spaceship.
Whether it was Fadell, Ive, Jobs or a combination of all three who actually came up with the idea of the iPod, it is clear the device has had a major impact on consumer devices. Sales had soared beyond 100 million by the first quarter of 2007, and sales still make up a significant proportion of Apple’s revenue.
Tony Fadell will be replaced at Apple by IBM’s Mark Papermaster.
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