The Making of Apple's iPod

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Case Details:

Case Code : OPER064
Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 2001-07
Organization : Apple Inc.
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : US
Industry : Digital Music Player

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Introduction Contd...

Apple also offered some games like Brick, Parachute and Solitaire, which came built into iPod. Some features like downloadable games made the fifth generation5 iPods very user-friendly.

Apple had trademarked the name iPod on July 24, 2000, for a network of Internet kiosks that it had planned to set up - this project did not materialize.6 It then used the name for its music player. Since the launch of the iPod till August 2007, as many as thirteen models were designed and sold in the markets worldwide (Refer Exhibit IV for the different generations of iPod).

Operations Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

Commenting on the success of iPod, Steve Jobs (Jobs), CEO of Apple, said, "We had the hardware expertise, the industrial design expertise and the software expertise, including iTunes. One of the biggest insights we have was that we decided not to try to manage your music library on the iPod, but to manage it in iTunes. Other companies tried to do everything on the device itself and made it so complicated that it was useless."7

Although there were some criticisms from the iPod users like poor battery life, low durability, the screen's vulnerability to scratches etc., iPod broke all previous records of sales in consumer electronics category. With the success of iPod, Apple emerged as one of the largest consumer electronics companies in the the world, after a period when it had made significant losses (1990-98).

Background Note

Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne founded Apple Computers on April 01, 1976.

At that time, Steve Jobs worked for Atari, Steve Wozniak worked for HP and Ronald Wayne was Jobs' collegue at Atari. They assembled the first personal computer (PC) in Jobs' father's garage, custom-made for a local computer store. They assembled fifty such PCs exclusively for this store and sold them for US$ 666.66 per system. This system was called Apple I. Later, they built another 200 PCs before the next version was worked upon. Apple was incorporated on January 03, 1977...

Excerpts >>

5] The fifth generation iPod was introduced on October 12, 2005, shortly after the introduction of the iPod Nano. It is commonly referred to by the unofficial name 'iPod video.'

6] Leander Kahney, "Straight Dope on the Ipod's Birth",, October 17, 2006.

7] Steven Levy, "Good for the Soul," Newsweek, October 16, 2006.


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