Ahh, a trip down memory lane. About seven years ago, Steve Jobs introduced the first iPod. I’ve included a video of the event here. A couple things stand out to me after watching this video — first is the ongoing and relentless march of Moore’s Law. The original iPod, as amazing as it was when it was introduced, now looks rather clunky, while the current generation iPod Nano is a fraction of the size, has a color screen, runs video, has more storage and has evolved beyond the hard drive. The other thing that stands out is how low-key this product launch was, and how technical the marketing-speak was — they focused on battery life, capacity, and the competitive landscape: remember the Rio and the Zen? Even the lowly portable CD player made the competitive matrix in the presentation!
As Apple has reached ascendancy in the consumer electronics world, the product launches have become much glitzier and Steve Jobs has become a much more self-assured showman. Today they so dominate the market (with 160m units shipped to date) that in the most recent introduction of the new iPod product line, they only mention the competition in order to mock it (and let’s face it, competition doesn’t really exist, with all due respect to the Zune). For comparison, here’s the most recent iPod product launch video as well: