Apple’s iPod ‘Godfather’ Details Prototype Decoy on 20th Anniversary

IPod 5 scaled

Back on October 23, 2001, the Apple co-founder Steve Jobs unveils the company’s iconic iPod MP3 music player to the world, which was able to hold 1,000 songs on its 5GB hard drive, on a device that had a FireWire port.

YouTube video

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the original iPod’s announcement and the developers Panic have shared some images of a prototype device that many have never seen for the first time.

Here’s the massive prototype with an original iPod placed over top for context:

IPod 6 scaled

The device essentially shows a wheel, a small display and buttons for up, down, left and right. The prototype is dated September 3, 2001, which is just over a month before the iPod was announced.

When a reader of the Panic story tweeted out to Apple’s iPod ‘godfather’ and former executive Tony Fadell, the latter replied with more details on the device.

“This is a P68/Dulcimer iPod prototype we (very quickly) made before the true form factor design was ready,” said Fadell on Saturday morning. “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),” revealed Fadell.

Ipod clickwheel hold switch

We wish we still had our iPod (Click Wheel) from 2004. It was an awesome music player and the Belkin Media Reader for iPod allowed us to transfer photos from our Compact Flash memory cards to the hard drive for storage on an overseas travel adventure.

It eventually stopped working a few years later and we ended up dismantling the device, not even thinking twice about holding onto it for good measure.

P.S. - Like our news? Support the site: become a Patreon subscriber. Or shop with our Amazon link, or buy us a coffee! We use affiliate links when possible--thanks for supporting independent media.