Who invented the iPod? Steve Jobs?
Which device does Steve hold in so many iconic photos - yes, the iPod. In the minds of most of us he is linked with the white device that took the world by storm. ASteve Jobs was the brains behind Apple at the time the iPod was launched he couldn’t claim it as his invention. Here’s the background to the iPod.
Although Apple prides itself on creating so much of its hardware line in this case the iPod was based on a prototype device created by a company called PortalPlayer, latterly taken over by NVIDIA. Their device played music and had a built-in operating system.
Outsourcing continued with the user interface. Even though this is another area where Apple tries to lead the world, this was sub-contracted to a company called Pixo (now a unit of Sun Microsystems). Subsequently Apple developed and enhanced the iPod OS and user interface but in terms of a functioning portable music player linked to a computer to download music, PortalPlayer and Pixo delivered a device we’d recognise as an iPod.
Back in 2008, as part of a patent lawsuit, Apple acknowledged the role played by the man who in 1979 developed and patented the idea of a portable plastic digital music player. His name is Kane Kramer, a British inventor.
So the man who dreamt up the concept that became the iPod was Kane Kramer. Apple took the ideas he had, plus the work of other companies, and developed the multi-million selling product line we now see all over the world.
Apple's team managing the original iPod contained people who went on to greater success -
Jon Rubenstein (Senior VP hardware engineering) now a director of Qualcom
Jonathan Ive (Senior VP Design at Apple)
Tony Fadell (engineer and former senior vice president iPod division) his next company, Nest, purchased by Google for $3.2 billion in Jan. 2014
Michael Dhuey (engineer) now at Cisco
Tim Wasko (interface designer)
Even the name iPod wasn’t an in-house Apple creation. Vinnie Chieco, a freelance copywriter, suggested the name “iPod”. He was inspired by the line in the movie 2001 "Open the pod bay door, HAL.”