Apple announced today that it has shipped more than 30 million iPods since the MP3 player's debut in October of 2001.
I can remember showing my family my 1st-generation iPod during our annual holiday get-together in 2001. They didn't know what an iPod was or even what an MP3 was. None of them, I think, really grasped that it was just the beginning of the now enormous portable MP3 player market. What was striking to me is that I could hand my iPod to my mother (who sometimes calls me to ask me how to print) and within a minute or two, she intuitively understood how to navigate through the music on the iPod.
About two years ago, I started seeing iPods everywhere. I couldn't ride the subway in NYC without seeing the tell-tale white earbuds. This trend has only escalated recently and shows little sign of slowing down. Apple continues to release new and better iPods with new functionality and has recently secured enough flash memory storage for the next five years. iPods are even being spoofed on Saturday Night Live.
Now, four years later, you can guess what both my teenaged neice and nephew want for Christmas.