Here’s the second part of our brief history of the iPod. (Part one is here.)
It was introduced to the public on October 23, 2001. But “iPod” isn’t a word that really describes the product or what it does. Who came up with that word and that name? It seems to have originated with a guy named Vinnie Chieco, a freelancer who was hired by Apple for the rollout of the device in the fall of 2001.
For whatever reason, he thought back to the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey when doomed astronaut David Bowman ordered Hal, the wonky computer, to “open the pod bay doors.”
And if you know what? Those pods did kinda look like the new Apple device.
So far, so good. But then Apple discovered that a guy from New Jersey named Joseph N. Grasso had already trademarked the name for a line of Internet kiosks that went back to 1998. But Apple cut a deal with Mr. Grasso–and the rest is history.