The iPod was super-cool in more ways than one

Apple doesn’t need any extra gushing from me. The Cupertino company reached a nearly $2.4-trillion valuation without my help.

But let’s pause briefly to appreciate the enormity of the iPod, which Apple said on Tuesday it’s discontinuing.

When the iPod debuted in 2001, Apple was still a struggling computer maker, lagging way behind Windows machines in market share.

Almost overnight, the iPod established Apple as a leading maker of gotta-have-it consumer gadgets.

It also paved the way for the iPhone, which has elbowed the iPod aside because it does everything the iPod does and a whole lot more.

Call it progress. But I still look back fondly on the gee-whiz excitement of carrying an entire jukebox in your pocket, which was the key selling point for the iPod.

Within five years, the iPod accounted for about 40% of Apple’s revenue.

Like many people, I also wish I had the foresight to invest in Apple right before the iPod took the world by storm.

In January 2002, a few months after the iPod was introduced, Apple’s shares were trading around $23.

If you invested just $100 at the time, your investment would have been worth more than $13,000 by 2019.

I was about to say, “Who knew?” But you already know the answer to that.

Steve Jobs knew. And he was right.

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