On this day: Apple iPod mini introduced
On January 6 2004, Apple announced the iPod mini. It was priced at $249 for 4GB, when it went on sale on February 20 2004. It was about half an inch thin, and the size of a business card. The iPod mini was available in gold, blue, pink, and green anodised aluminium. It was the world's smallest portable music player and could store up to 1,000 CD-quality tunes. It was a mid-range model in the iPod series and came with a battery life of about eight hours.
The iPod wasn’t groundbreaking, but Apple’s MP3 player was better and easier to use than any competitor. It quickly became a favourite and a pop-cultural icon. The iPod mini was the first device to sport the touch-sensitive Click Wheel, which had a built-in Menu, Play/Pause, Next Track, and Previous Track buttons, as well as a new ‘hold’ switch.
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The iPod mini was released as a cheaper and more vibrant option for the iPod. In fact, it was the iPod mini that moved the iPod to the main market. iPod was a hit, but it proved to be more expensive than its competitors. Therefore, Steve Jobs decided to make a low, mid and high range of iPods. The iPod mini was the mid-range product while the iPod shuffle was for the lower end of the market.
However, the iPod mini only lasted two generations. Apple released the second-generation iPod mini in February 2005. The product was reintroduced in several colours, but in four rather than five, and the price was reduced. The second-gen iPod mini cost $199 for 4GB of storage and $249 for 6GB. Furthermore, the battery life of the 2nd generation iPod Mini has increased by more than 100%, now lasting up to 18 hours.
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The iPod mini was the most popular lineup of Apple, however, it was the most short-lived product line. Steve Jobs launched the iPod Nano on September 7, 2005, as a successor to the iPod Mini. It was finally discontinued in 2006. The choice to discontinue a popular device like the iPod mini was controversial, but the Nano brought many new features. The complete iPod line was finally discontinued after 21 years in 2022 since smartphones have taken over these MP3 players. Now that music streaming apps are available on the phone, devices like the iPod have become redundant.
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