The iPod portable music player has topped 100 million sales.
The first iPod was released in November of 2001. The device was roughly the size of a pack of cards and sported a 5 GB hard drive (HDD) and a black and white display. The latest iPod nano models are nine centimeters long and .65 centimeters thick with full-color screens and flash memory chips that store up to 8 GB of music. The latest HDD iPods feature an 80GB capacity and full video playback.
For the first few years of its life, the iPod saw lukewarm sales. However, as user adoption increased in 2004, iPod sales began to rise dramatically and the player began to take control of the market. Over the 2006 holiday season, Apple's players dominated the market, with various iPod models accounting for eight of the ten best-selling portable music players.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs used the occasion to thank the consumers who have purchased the devices. "iPod has helped millions of people around the world rekindle their passion for music, and we're thrilled to be a part of that," said Jobs.
Apple is not the only company benefiting from the iPod's rise. The sales boom has lead to the creation of an entirely new market for third-party accessories. Apple claims that more than 4,000 cases, headphones, plug-ins and special docking stations currently exist.
Supplying content for the iPod has also been a lucrative business. Apple's iTunes online store has sold more than 2.5 billion songs and 50 million TV shows.
The iPod reached the 100m mark more than twice as fast as arguably the most influential portable music player ever. The Sony Walkman did not reach the 100 million milestone until 1993, fourteen years after the first model was shipped.
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