£9.95 RRP for an iPod? Maybe.
The iPod has also benefited from a more crowded world. The academic literature surrounding personal stereos frequently references the 19th-century German sociologist Georg Simmel, who was one of the first to detail the acute horror of the urban commute:
Before the development of buses, railroads and trams in the nineteenth century, people had never been in a position of having to look at one another for long minutes or even hours without speaking to one another.
Europeans responded to the new reality by keeping silent and expecting the courtesy of not being spoken to. That strategy wasn’t always successful. They also started reading. Books, in effect, were the original iPods.
Acute horror? That’s a bit strong. Otherwise an interesting point. Books are certainly cheaper, and they come in a wider range of colours.