Surprise Hits: Apple's iPod jolts electronics, music industries back to life


Apple unleashed the iPod to a nation on edge in October 2001. It was six weeks after the September 11 attacks, and the anthrax attacks were popping up, making the public -- already anxious about additional terrorist strikes -- even more fearful of the world around them.

People were in no mood to get excited about a consumer product that would revolutionize an industry or two. But eight years later, we can see how the unfortunately timed iPod would become the biggest surprise hit of the decade -- as much a part of our culture as the family car or baseball caps.

Originally published