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Age of the iPod

Why one computer giant can claim, "iCame, iSaw, iConquered"

This story appears in the January 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Is Apple Computer's iPod the greatest consumer product of our time? At minimum, it's an undeniable success. Over 20 million units have been sold since its launch in 2001. It has managed to cross social and demographic barriers--with everyone from soccer moms to Wall Street executives sporting white ear buds. The portable audio player has created an entire economy of accessories and imitators, single-handedly grabbing the music industry by the ear and pulling it into tomorrow. The iPod has become the icon of cool, and every entrepreneur should pay attention.

Jeremy Horwitz, editor in chief of iLounge, a leading online iPod authority, says entrepreneurs can take away three critical lessons from the iPod. First, he says, "Timing and execution are everything. Being first in an emerging market is neither as important nor as lucrative as designing the right products and services to cater to second- and third-stage growth."

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