On February 20th, 2004 Apple changed the game in portable music players with the launch of the iPod mini. Featuring 4GB of storage, and being available in 5 different colors, it quickly became the fastest-selling iPod so far.
The big selling point of the iPod mini was its click wheel, a solid-state, touch-sensitive scrolling wheel that included smaller, integrated control buttons. As well as the new technology, it also featured the aluminum chassis that became a trademark of Apple design.
The iPod mini’s launch came as Apple’s fortunes began to turn around. Just a year after the mini had come out, Apple reached a milestone of 10 million iPods sold since inception, with their revenues increasing beyond expectation.
The iPod mini offered a new solution to solving the same problems as the pre-existing iPod Classic, simply by shrinking it down in size whilst preserving its functionality. This made it incredibly compact and lightweight, yet still highly usable. As Steve Jobs himself stated “the moment we experienced it, we just thought, ‘Oh my God! Why didn’t we think of this sooner?”.
The design itself also signified a sort of minimalism, no more did it resemble the bulky tech products of old. Instead, it resembled something more akin to a stylish Zippo lighter, with its aluminum chassis adorned with electrochemically anodized colors.
The invention of the iPod mini also marked Apple’s first foray into the world of fitness. People began wearing it to the gym, or on their person when running. This prompted Apple to start marketing the iPod mini for fitness-based activities, kick-starting the Apple Watch’s future marketing campaigns.
Do you remember the iPod mini? Which version did you have? Share your memories and experiences with us in the comments below!