How the iPod Killed the CD

As with most great successes, in retrospect, the iPod seems inevitable. Between 2001 and 2007, Apple sold more than 110 million of the portable audio dynamos. Its introduction of the iTunes music store in 2003 created another revolution, becoming the number-one web site for legally downloaded music. In a four-year stretch, customers downloaded more than three billion songs through iTunes, along with 100 million TV shows. And its first foray into the cell phone market was such a huge success that the entire handset industry felt the need to respond.

In hindsight, market success is tracked by sales and revenue, easily charted and graphed. But when it comes to predicting future success, any major market shift represents ...

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