The iPod: The World in Your Hands

The Inventor: Tony Fadell 
& The Story Behind His Creation

"The iPod originated with a business idea dreamed up by Tony Fadell, an independent inventor. Fadell's idea was to take an MP3 player, build a Napster music sale service to complement it, and build a company around it." 
(Idea Finder)
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"Tony Fadell, the creator of the iPod, was born in 1969, and graduated from Grosse Point High School in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. He graduated from college at the University of Michigan with a BS in Computer Engineering in 1991. 

He worked for General Magic for three years, starting in 1992 as a diagnostics engineer and progressing to a systems architect, where he was responsible for the development of a number of technologies and devices including the Sony MagicLink and Motorola Envoy. In 1995 he was hired by Philips where he was co-founder, Chief Technology Officer and Director of Engineering in the Mobile Computing Group, which developed a number of Windows CE based handheld devices." (Spiritus-Temporis) 

He "envisioned a brand new MP3 player. Unlike the bulky flash memory-based MP3 players from Rio and other companies, Fadell wanted to deliver a small hard drive-based player that was linked with a content delivery system where users could legally obtain and download music. 


The first company he pitched it to was RealNetworks (in 2000), where the CEO, Rob Glaser, was already in control of a large content delivery system through Real's premium radio and television channels. Real could not rationalize going through the trouble of releasing an accessory to their already profitable system, so they would be caught off guard when the iTunes Music Store was opened. Fadell also approached Phillips, which also rebuffed him. After awhile, Fadell turned to Apple. The executives at Apple were very enthusiastic about implementing Fadell's plan at Apple - unbeknownst to Fadell, Apple had bought the rights to SoundJam MP months before. He was hired in early 2001 and was given a development team of around thirty people and a deadline of one year to release a successful product." (Low End Mac)

"Fadell and his team of engineers used as the central component a version of a microprocessor which had previously powered mobile phones, and the original IPod was completed in six months. Apple announced it's release on October 23, 2001, two months before Christmas. More than 100,000 iPods' were sold by the end of 2001." (Computer Accesories.Suite 101)
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In 2008, "Fadell and his wife, Danielle Lambert, who was vice president of the company's resources department "reduced their roles" to "devote more time to their young family." (Profit.NDTV)