The 2004 U2 iPod nearly didn't happen, was saved by beer

The deal to make the red and black iPod nearly fell apart, but Apple designer Jony Ive and U2 frontman Bono found common ground over a pint.

The U2-edition iPod. Apple
Remember the U2 iPod? It looks like a relic now, but at the time was quite the novelty -- an edgy black and red amid the sea of white, minimalist design Apple was pushing out.

Turns out it almost didn't happen. Vanity Fair has a lengthy story describing the design philosophies of Apple design head Jonathan Ive and fellow designer Marc Newson, as they get ready to showcase products especially designed for an auction next month organized by U2 frontman Bono's Product (Red) anti-H.I.V. campaign.

One of the best gems of the story describes how Ive and Bono met through Steve Jobs. And when the deal to make a U2-themed iPod was close to falling apart, Bono and Ive ironed out the kinks over a brew:

Part of the deal included a special-edition iPod that Bono had requested, manufactured in black with a red dial. (At the time, iPods came only in white.) When the deal seemed like it might founder, Ive was dispatched in person to take the prototype black-red iPod to Bono at his home in Dublin. The two men went drinking in a pub and sorted out the remaining issues in the deal. "Jony makes some of his greatest decisions while having a drink," Bono said to me over the phone, speaking from his home in France.
You can read the entire story here.

About the author

Richard Nieva is a staff writer for CNET. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times and on CJR.org.

 

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