NEW YORK – Apple Inc. (AAPL) has sold its 100 millionth iPod in just over five years, boasting on Monday that the digital device was "the fastest selling music player in history" that appeals to both young and old.
Since its November 2001 launch, the portable music player has become the must-have gadget worldwide, with Apple introducing more than 10 new models to incorporate changing technology such as the ability to record and play videos, hold photos, and with more varied, fashionable colours.
"iPod has helped millions of people around the world rekindle their passion for music, and we're thrilled to be a part of that," Apple's COE Steve Jobs said in a statement.
Apple said its iTunes online music store has sold more than 2.5 billion songs, 50 million television shows and more than 1.3 million movies.
The market-leading iPod has taken over from the original portable audio player with headphones, or the Walkman, that was launched by Sony Corp. (SNE) in 1979.
Grammy Award-winning singer Mary J. Blige said it was hard to remember life before the pocket-sized iPod.
"iPod is more than just a music player, it's an extension of your personality and a great way to take your favorite music with you everywhere you go," she said in a statement.
Current versions of the iPod are priced at about $249 and are no longer just ubiquitous among urban teenagers.
A survey of 100 people aged 99 years and older released earlier this month by U.S. health care co-ordinator Evercare found four percent of respondents had listened to music on an iPod.
The iPod has also sparked a vast range of over 4,000 accessories varying from cases to speaker systems and more than 70 percent of 2007-model U.S. cars offer iPod connectivity.
The iPod has become so commonplace that one of Australia's biggest banks, the Commonwealth Bank, has used a recent version — the slimline Nano — to compare global currencies and purchasing power in 26 countries, similar to the Big Mac index launched 20 years ago by The Economist magazine.