But it wasn’t just us getting involved in this celebration. The folks over at Panic gave us all another gift: a glimpse at a prototype of the original iPod. Take a look at this beauty:
What’s breathtaking about this prototype iPod here is the size of the damn thing. Have a look at it alongside the finished product:
Now, did you notice that in the headline for this piece, I put “prototype” in quotes? Well, that’s because what we’re seeing above isn’t quite a prototype. Effectively, what we’re looking at are the guts of the original iPod in something called a “non-enclosure device.”
Let’s have a look inside this big plastic box for some more context:
As you can see, there’s a lot of empty space in the enclosure. The date on there is also interesting: September 3, 2001. That’s less than two months before the launch of the original iPod. A curious combination of facts.
Thankfully, Tony Fadell (inventor of the iPod and co-inventor of the iPhone) shined some light on it.
This is a P68/Dulcimer iPod prototype we (very quickly) made before the true form factor design was ready. Didn’t want it look like an iPod for confidentiality – the buttons placement, the size – it was mostly air inside – and the wheel worked (poorly) https://t.co/qeNMHMmVsc
— Tony Fadell (@tfadell) October 23, 2021
In other words, this prototype allowed people to work on the software of the original iPod without the danger of its outward appearance being leaked.
Well, I hope you took as much joy as me from seeing this prototype of the original iPod. Now, back to dreaming of what a modern version of Apple’s MP3 player would be like…