There are few memories as vivid as the first time you experienced a breakthrough tech product. For some it was experimenting with computers; for others it was playing a home console; for me, it was simply messing around with an iPod touch.
It was the first tech product I remember blowing my mind.
At the time, the schism between crappy phones and cutting edge devices was as large as the Grand Canyon. Apple was truly miles ahead of its competitors, and it trickled down this advantage to the iPod touch—the poor man’s iPhone.
Apple decided to revamp the iPod line in 2007 when it introduced the iPod touch, a departure from the click wheel design that had been around since the inception of the devices. This decision introduced younger kids such as myself to Apple’s ecosystem and superior touch display technology.
I had always wanted an iPod dating back to the first time I saw the blue iPod Mini, but I never bought one. Then one inconsequential day in January 2009, my then girlfriend (now wife) gave me her iPod touch.
A lot of people’s first interaction with breakthrough technology results in a kid-like awe. The iPod touch was exactly that for me. Sure, I’d handled BlackBerry and Nokia devices before, and yes, they were great. But Apple’s gadgets were otherworldly and they changed my outlook on technology forever.
I still have the 2nd generation iPod touch. It has a shattered display and a beat up body, true battle scars of the first Apple product I ever owned; but even so, it still holds up great. The last iOS upgrade it got was iOS 4.2.1, and it only has a paltry 128MB of RAM. I won’t say it’s snappy, but it performs better than you’d expect an eight-year old product to perform.
Compare that to my 2011 BlackBerry Torch (which I also still have), and it feels like a 20-year old device even though it’s newer.
This was Apple at its best. Filtering its technology into a wider range of products. The iPod touch was essentially my first taste of the iPhone. It was the reason I got an iTunes account and my first step into the Apple ecosystem.
I still remember being amazed that I didn’t have to connect to iTunes to buy a song, I could do it connected to Wi-Fi. I remember taking screenshots of guitar tabs and watching videos through the YouTube app in my pursuit of being a rock star.
In the time since, I’ve grown quite desensitized to tech. Experiencing a new phone is awesome, but eventually, the excitement wanes. Going through my iPod touch, that excitement never faded.
I’m transported to a simpler time when a device like the iPod touch seemed revolutionary. Looking at the 320 x 480 display makes my iPhone 6 Retina display look awesome. The 8GB of internal memory that came with the iPod touch is practically nothing, but I’ve got 958 songs in there and that’s all I need.
I first experienced the joys of a pocket computer thanks to this humble MP3 player. Now, there are a million replacements, the first one being your smartphone. But I’ll never get rid of my iPod touch because it’s still one of my favorite pieces of tech ever.