3. Apple releases a music player
Why it didn’t make sense: Apple started out as a PC vendor that designed and marketed its own of Macintosh PCs. Thus, Computers and software have been the roots of the company for years since. That is, until Apple made the surprise announcement in 2001 that it would be releasing its own digital music player, the iPod. While Apple’s former CEO, Steve Jobs, was a known music aficionado, Apple had not dabbled with digital music technologies such as CD or MiniDisc. It did not need to, as it was a PC company after all. Even though other manufactures were already starting to release storage based music players at the time, Apple thought that it could do it better, and the way they would do it was with its proprietary iTunes software.
The result: Apple’s experiment with digital music would not only sell more than 300 million units since its auspicious introduction, but would turn the company from a niche PC vendor into the largest and most profitable corporation in the world. While Apple has strengthened its PC offerings in recent years to make them just as appealing as its other non-PC products, the iPod was such a success for the company that it was its biggest product for more than half a decade. Its reign would only be interrupted by its follow-up products, which would replicate the success of the iPod and grow the company further. While the music industry is loath to admit it, the Apple’s decision to get involved in the music business also ended up saving an industry that was suffering from a shrinking market.