iPod Sales Down 21% From Last Year. What Does This Mean?

Such a surprise.  Apple turned in its best-ever sales quarter.  They made more money in the last three months than all their stock was worth eight years ago.  Things are good, then.

But if you dig into the numbers, you’ll see that iPod sales are down 21% from last year.  They still moved over 15 million units, but still, twenty-one freakin’ per cent!

You can get that someone is asking some hard questions at 1 Infinite Loop.  What’s the future for the standalone iPod?  Anything?  What can you do to the thing to make it more interesting?  Or in a world of smart phones (read:  iPhones), is it at the end of its useful existence?

Apple has been ruthless about jettisoning product that no longer serve the company’s purpose.  The Mac Pro could be rendered extinct soon.  And will the iPod follow?  Or will Apple continue to use it as a gateway drug to everything else they offer?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

3 thoughts on “iPod Sales Down 21% From Last Year. What Does This Mean?

  • January 24, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    A star that burns twice as bright burns out in half the time. Meaning that sales would have to eventually take a dip. In this case the dip is still generating revenue and the iPod brand stands so strong on its own that Apple will use it if to no other end, to launch new products or as Alan Cross said it will be a gateway drug to all things Apple.

  • January 24, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    I think iPods hit their market saturation and now we will see a leveling off.
    Ad to that a percentage of users that amalgamated their gadgets from cell phone and ipod to simply iphone (or Android). I went for an iPhone this year. I no longer use my iPod touch nearly as much as before.

    Companies still sell TVs even thought the basics of that technology have not changed (transition from CRT aside), same for all other household appliances. I would bet that sales of any new gadget/appliance take off significantly when they are first introduced and then level off rather than exponential growth from introduction to infinity.

  • January 25, 2012 at 1:11 am

    The line between iPod and iPhone is a very blurry one – you can essentially say that anyone buying an iPhone is also buying an iPod. The only difference is the iPod Nano, which is great for joggers.

    I think a much bigger question is what will happen to their hugely profitable iTunes store as more and more people get hooked on music streaming services?


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