Time Magazine has published an extensive report detailing Apple's work in creating the iPod nano.
The report includes comments from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Apple's vice president of industrial design Jonathan Ive, and senior vice president Phil Schiller.
Time calls Apple's newest music player an "absurdly tiny, unbearably sexy successor to the iPod mini."
"The story of the nano started nine months ago, when Jobs and his team took a look at the iPod mini and decided they could make it better," the report observes. Apple took a conscious decision to abandon its best-selling iPod (the iPod mini) in an attempt to steal a march on its increasingly frenzied competitors.
Apple bets its future
In the face of such competition, another report on Newsweek reveals that Jobs urged his executives to make the step: "Playing it safe is the most dangerous thing we can do. We have to get bolder," he said.
The Time report stresses the magnitude of the decision, at least, as far as Apple was concerned.
"The more we started to talk about what this could be," Jobs told Time, "it wasn't long before I said, 'You know, what if we just bet our future on this? Is that possible?' And everybody immediately looked pretty scared. Including me."
"We use every fraction of a millimetre of space to get things in there," said Schiller. "It's like a puzzle to fit all that stuff together. It has the tightest tolerances of anything we've ever made in the history of this company."
Passion for design
A detail-obsessed Ive points to some of the small details of the product, such as how rough the laser-engraved Apple logo is in comparison to the click wheel on the front.
"I know you're not going to consciously find these details particularly appealing," he said, "but I think it's the fact that we've worried about all of them that makes the product so precious."
Time's extensive article is available here.