The greatest momentum for Apple came from an unexpected source: the iPod. iPod’s breakthrough features — its beautiful design, its brilliant user interface and click wheel, its fast FireWire connectivity and its ability to sync with iTunes seamlessly — made it a hot seller from the start. For the first time, people were buying Macs just so they could use this little music player the size of a cigarette box. Apple cashed in on that success and went further in the following years, first by making iPod Windows-compatible in 2002, then by opening the iTunes Music Store and developing a Windows version of iTunes in 2003.
As of 2006, after Apple had continually pushed innovation in its music business by introducing iPod mini in 2004, iPod shuffle then iPod nano in 2005, and expanded its Music Store internationally, it had become the undisputed leader of the new digital music era. A significant landmark was passed in 2006 when Apple’s revenues from iPod equaled those made on computers. For the first time in its history, the firm from Cupertino had left its niche markets to become as influential a player in consumer electronics as Microsoft was in the PC space. iPod’s market share was close to 75%!