January 9 has been a very special day to Apple, Inc. On this day in 2001, Apple announced iTunes at MacWorld San Francisco, an application for Internet radio, music playing, ripping music from CDs and maintaining a library. The software ran on MacOS and Windows and, in 2003, you could download media from the iTunes Store. In 2005, Apple extended functionality for video and podcasts…University lectures in 2007 and, books in 2010. iTunes Radio, free music streaming, came in 2013 followed by Apple Music, paid music streaming, in 2015.
Apple has come under criticism for its digital rights management (DRM) encryption FairPlay. The protection of the music greatly limited what devices could play the files and brought about a movement to remove the restrictions. Steve Jobs penned an open letter to the music industry in February 2007. By April, non-DRM music appeared for download and the entire music catalog was DRM-free in January 2009.
“This is a day that I have been looking forward to for two and a half years. Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone.”
Apple created the device during a secretive and unprecedented collaboration with AT&T, formerly Cingular Wireless. The development cost of the collaboration was estimated to have been $150 million over a thirty-month period. Apple rejected the “design by committee” approach that had yielded the Motorola ROKR E1, a largely unsuccessful collaboration with Motorola. Instead, Cingular Wireless gave Apple the liberty to develop the iPhone’s hardware and software in-house. The whole effort was called Project Purple 2 and began in 2005. Six weeks before the iPhone was to be released, the plastic screen was replaced with a glass one, after Jobs was upset that the screen of the prototype he was carrying in his pocket had been scratched by his keys.
With the iPhone X costing $1,000 dollars, Apple rules the world.