Apple’s iPod Hi-Fi Launched 18 Years Ago – and Lasted Just 554 Days

Reflecting on the iPod Hi-Fi, launched 18 years ago, many long-time readers may remember it as Apple’s ambitious foray into the home audio market, long before smart speakers were a thing.

Priced at $349, it promised audiophile-quality sound within a compact design, offering home audio without the clutter of traditional stereo components. It featured a built-in Universal Dock for iPods, providing a seamless integration that allowed users to charge their device while playing music.

With its capability to produce a wide frequency range and room-filling sound without distortion, the iPod Hi-Fi combined Jony Ive’s minimalist design aesthetic and high-quality audio performance. Its versatility was further highlighted by the inclusion of an Apple Remote, and the option for AC or battery power, making it portable.

Many products in the iPod series achieved remarkable success, but the iPod Hi-Fi wasn’t one of them. The device was praised for its big rich sound, bass response, and ease of use, but its high price was a turn-off for many Apple device users. Also, the connector prominently positioned atop the speaker unit exposed docked iPods to potential knocks and damage.

Despite its innovative features, the iPod Hi-Fi remained a niche product in Apple’s lineup​​, and the combination iPod dock/speaker system never took off. Apple discontinued it on September 5, 2007, just 554 days after its launch.
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