On October 23 2001, at the Apple Music Event, Steve Jobs unveiled the iPod, a device that would go on to change the tide for the company, ushering in the iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Apple Watch, and so on.
However, on the day, internet commentators took to MacRumors to share their thoughts on Apple’s latest product — and few were pleased.
Forum user WeezerX80 wrote that “[The iPod is] just what the world needs, another freaking MP3 player. Go Steve! Where’s the Newton?!” Another user, who goes by the name Pants, called the iPod a “gimmick,” suggesting Apple focus its R&D resources elsewhere. “Why don’t you [Steve Jobs] spend a little more time sorting out your pathetically expensive and c**p server line up?”
Some users were sceptical of the engineering behind the iPod, which was the first device to allow for large amounts of music storage thanks to its hard drive. “What a load of tripe!” wrote “ooh wow” before continuing: “An mp3 player with a HD [hard drive]! how original! kinda reminds me of a JUKEBOX i once knew.”
One user, who signed off his reply with “Regards, Matt Hodgson,” gave Apple a reality check. “This really isn’t that revolutionary of a product,” he wrote. “I have a Nomad Jukebox with a 6gig hardrive and it only cost me $US250. It works great and syncs fine with the computer and the transfer is relatively fast. I don’t know what the big deal is.”
In a multi-bullet pointed reply, user Meetoo laid out their thoughts. “Are you on drugs?” the user writes, before claiming that the iPod is “not revolutionary,” was “a bad fit” for Apple’s business (which has since grown to around $US180 billion in revenue), and was “without a future.”
Some users, such as Beholder of Truth, did see early potential but the overall consensus is that the iPod was dead on arrival, a damp squib that would plunge Apple into the abyss.
Here’s the video of Steve Jobs unveiling the iPod in 2001.