From an iPod grew a $178 billion dollar profit

Analysis of the Apple Business

Apple launched an epic corporation, hurtling themselves into the millennium as the top manufacturer of hand-held technology with their iPod. Macintosh was on the brink of becoming immaterial as the new millennium approached until Steve Jobs’ invent of the iPod created a new avenue of visionary technology. The iPod lead to other devices, creating one of the world’s most innovative technological producers for worldwide consumers’ products. The history of the iPod which ranges from 2001 to 2009, forms the foundation that sprung Apple far beyond Microsoft’s digital audio and video that predated the iPod’s advent.



In 1995 Microsoft had an Advanced Technology Group headed by Nathan Myhrvold. The group’s success formed around several successful initiatives. Modern Window’s Media was even began by such an advanced video streaming server project known as “Tiger.” Microsoft was firmly holding the market for all proprietary technologies of streaming video and audio. An audio codec that promised better quality than the smaller sized MP3 was born from their research, which came to be known as the now commonly used Windows Media Audio.

In 1998 on of the first digital audio playing devices named the Diamond Rio PMP300 was released. The MP3 format played unprotected audio. It was threatening the music industry’s sales because of piracy. Microsoft then began talks with the major music labels about digital audio and DRM technology plans. The strategy was to build alliances while relinquishing the music companies’ fears about future Microsoft technologies.

Things began to really progress in 2001 as an announcement, preceding the release of the iPod, revealed that Microsoft had partnered with Sony Music and Universal Music. United through an online music service that utilized Windows Media and DRM called Pressplay, Microsoft took a running start as a leading provider of digital audio. However, the iPod made its big debut in October of 2001 changing the future of streaming audio and video.

iPhone Accounts

In 2006 Apple had sold over 80 million iPods and 1.5 billion iTunes songs worldwide. Microsoft felt defeat and abandoned their PlayforSure program. Instead in October of 2006, Microsoft released a device that directly competed with the iPod, called the Zune.


By the middle of 2009 the Zune’s sales of 3.4 million failed to compete with the iPod’s sales of 170 million. In the fall, Microsoft released an updated version, the Zune HD, which held positive reviews. Despite its greatness, it was too late to compete with the mass market of loyal Apple users. The iPod Touch had already began dominating as the world’s leading media player and the iPhone was soon to be released.

Microsoft had a lead on the market over the Apple’s iPod, but ultimately they lost in a highly visible consumer market segment. As tablets and smartphones now dominate the market for media streaming products, the iPod was instrumental in defining digital convergence and disrupting industries. Something Microsoft was believed to have been on top of. Despite the differences both Apple and Microsoft fail to compare to the “bottom line” revenues of Office and Windows. With the advent of new technology either company could easily take the lead in the future. However, ithe iPod launched Apple into the iPhone that now secures over half of the company’s $178 billion dollar profits worldwide.

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