Only four people at Apple knew about this secret project. Me, the director of iPod Software, the vice president of the iPod Division, and the senior vice president of Hardware. None of us still work at Apple. There was no paper trail. All communication was in person.
If you asked Apple about the custom iPod project and got past the stock “No comment,” the PR people would tell you honestly that Apple has no record of any such project.
But now you know.
When Apple revealed the iPhone in late 2007, with its touch screen and several native apps, some technology writers dubbed it the “Jesus Phone”. It has sold more than 1.5bn units.
This makes the iPod the musical and technological equivalent of John the Baptist. The device was quickly superseded, but it prepared the way for the great innovations to come. It showed consumers that technology could be beautiful and that the most enthralling possessions could fit in the palm of a hand.