Skip to main content

Father of iPod Tony Fadell says it was conceived, designed, and released inside a year

iPod Classic
iPod Classic (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Tony Fadell is thought of as the father of iPod.
  • He told Stripe CEO Patrick Collison of the speedy release.
  • It went from nothing to the hands of customers in a year.

Apple is so secretive that it isn't until years later that we start to find out how things really went down. That's been the case with iPod for a while and now we're hearing more about how the music player came about. According to Tony Fadell, it went from nothing to being in stores in less than a year.

Tony Fadell is often called the father of iPod, and he was certainly the key driving force behind making it happen. But it turns out that when he was brought on-board Apple didn't have any plans at all. It just knew that it wanted to make something that played music from Toshiba's 1.8-inch hard disk.

Fadell told Stripe CEO Patrick Collison (via 9to5Mac) that there was no iPod to speak of when he joined. And the timeline after that is scary.

See more

The fact that there was no team in place until May makes things all the more amazing, but just a few months later Steve Jobs was on a stage announcing iPod. And Apple hasn't been the same since.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.