iPod shuffle debuted on this day in 2005

On January 11, 2005, Apple introduced the iPod shuffle to the world.

Designed as a way to enjoy music while exercising, the shuffle brought random play of music to the iPod. The first edition of this device looked remarkably like a white stick of gum, featuring no display or scroll wheel, and plugging right into a USB port for syncing. It was also the first Apple iPod to do away with an internal hard drive, using only flash memory to store music.

Since that time, the iPod shuffle has been transformed several times. The first change in September, 2006 turned the device into a small clip-like device similar to the iPod shuffle we know and love today. The third-generation shuffle, which was introduced in March of 2009, took small size to a ridiculous extreme. This model did away with on-device controls, using volume and track buttons on the white earbuds instead. It was also the first iPod to provide VoiceOver to announce track names and other information to listeners.

The latest incarnation of the iPod shuffle returned to the larger size of the second generation device, bringing back the buttons and retaining VoiceOver. Announced on September 1, 2010, the current iPod shuffle costs only US$49 for 2 GB of storage and comes in five colors.

Happy anniversary to the popular and low-priced iPod shuffle!