Fadell: Apple never anticipated iPod’s success leading to iPhone

Karen Haslam
4 December, 2012
View more articles fromthe author

Apple’s father of the iPod, Tony Fadell, has spoken with the Telegraph, claiming that Apple never foresaw that the iPod would lead to the iPhone and the immense success that Apple is enjoying today. In fact, it is clear from the interview that Fadell believes that Apple has him to thank for its current success, which may never have happened without the iPod.

Fadell is known as the father of the iPod because the music player was his idea. Apple wasn’t even the first company that Fadell took his proposal too: he tried Real Networks first before approaching Apple in 2001, writes the Telegraph.

Even after Fadell joined Apple and started work on the iPod project the device may never have shipped. Fadell told the Telegraph: “When I showed the iPod to Steve and he said ‘It’s a go’ he meant to the next milestone. He didn’t mean we were going to even ship it.”

At the time the team Fadell was working with wasn’t even dedicated to the iPod. “This is a company whose business was the Macintosh,” Fadell explained, adding that the team was largely taken up with “the day job” of building the Mac.

The iPod happened quickly. Fadell joined Apple in 2001 and the first iPod launched later that year. “We built the iPod in weeks. It had to be what I thought it was going to be because there wasn’t time for endless refinements”, he said, suggesting that his input may have been greater than that of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

“It wasn’t as if there’d been this big decision to suddenly turn this way. There was no vision of taking everything to a world of iPhones and iPads,” he added, indicating that Apple had no vision of the iPhone at that time.

On-the-other-hand, it could be suggested that the iPhone may have been influenced by the Newton, certainly back in 2001 journalists and industry experts were anticipating a PDA which may have later turned into the iPhone.

However, it may well be the case that Apple wouldn’t be enjoying its current success if someone else had taken on the iPod. “Without the computing platform of Apple, it could all have been swallowed up by a Sony and we wouldn’t be where we are,” Fadell said.

“It couldn’t have been more different from the Apple of today,” said Fadell.

Fadell also spoke to the BBC in that interview he made some remarks about Scott Forestall, suggesting that the ousted head of iOS “got what he deserved“.

Leave a Comment

Please keep your comments friendly on the topic.

Contact us