Bill Gates Predicted Decline Of iPod Almost 20 Years Ago: "As Good As Apple May Be..."

"If you were to ask me which mobile device will take top place for listening to music, I'd bet on the mobile phone for sure," Bill Gates said.

Bill Gates Predicted Decline Of iPod Almost 20 Years Ago: 'As Good As Apple May Be...'

The tech magnate's prediction looked impossible at the time.

Apple's iPod captivated all music lovers when it was launched over two decades ago. These days, the ability to take one's music collection with them wherever they go is included in every device that Apple makes, from the iPhone and Apple Watch to the iPad and Mac. However, almost 20 years ago, Microsoft founder Bill Gates predicted the decline of the iPod and expressed scepticism about its dominance, as per NBC News.

In an interview with the German newspaper Allgemeine Zeitung back in 2005, Mr Gates talked about the success of Apple's device, which was launched in 2001. "As good as Apple may be, I don't believe the success of the iPod is sustainable in the long run," he said.

"You can make parallels with computers: Apple was very strong in this field before, with its Macintosh and its graphic user interface - like the iPod today - and then lost its position," Mr Gates added.

The tech magnate's prediction looked impossible at the time. While mobile phones were often heavy and lacked music storage and playback facilities of a specialised MP3 player, the iPod was incredibly successful, selling in millions. "If you were to ask me which mobile device will take top place for listening to music, I'd bet on the mobile phone for sure," Bill Gates told the newspaper.

His prediction proved to be somewhat accurate. With capabilities similar to the iPod and the added ability to run apps, make calls, and access the internet, smartphones ultimately took over as the preferred device and Apple contributed most significantly to this change.

Notably, Apple debuted the iPhone in 2007, a device that merged phone capability with an iPod-like music player and internet connectivity, despite their early scepticism about the phone industry. The iPhone's success continues in the market and the company's flagship smartphones emerge as hot-selling devices.

Meanwhile, as anticipation builds for Apple's upcoming flagship launch, discussions surrounding the iPhone 16 are gaining momentum. Enthusiasts in the tech community are eagerly predicting various features, such as enhancements to the thermal system to improve performance, notable upgrades to the Pro models' cameras, and the possibility of a larger screen size. There are also murmurs about integrating artificial intelligence with the new A18 Bionic chip, which could lead to a more user-friendly experience.

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