Apple Computer could sell 21 million iPod shuffle units in 2005

“Global sales of portable digital music players are expected to rise significantly this year, the world’s second-largest manufacturer of MP3 players said on Tuesday. ‘This market is booming rapidly and one of the reasons why MP3s are so popular is that they are becoming cheaper,’ said Tommy Tsai, a product marketing manager at Creative Technology Ltd.’s Taiwan branch. Tsai, citing estimates from market research firm IDC, told a seminar in Taipei that Creative and its rivals, including South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and U.S.-based Apple Computer Inc., would collectively sell 35 million portable flash MP3 players in 2005, compared with 25 million in 2004,” Reuters reports.

“Apple is the leader in the mini hard disk-drive (HDD) music player market, with a roughly 60 to 70 percent share, following the success of its market-leading iPod, which can store tens of thousands of songs, compared with hundreds for regular MP3 players,” Reuters reports. “Seeking to capitalize on the high-growth market, Apple moved earlier this month to offer more affordable products by introducing the gum-stick size iPod shuffle, with 512 megabytes of memory, for US$99. The price is similar to that of rivals.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “The price is similar to that of rivals?” Please, someone find us a Samsung or Creative MP3 player that’s 512MB for US$99 or 1GB for US$149 like Apple’s iPod shuffles. We can’t seem to locate any with “similar prices” to Apple’s iPod shuffle models. Now, let’s see 35 million portable flash MP3 players times 60 percent equals about 21 million iPod shuffle units sold for 2005. Wonder if Apple could keep up with that sort of demand?

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple says up to 4-week wait for iPod Shuffle; initial stockpile rumored at 2 million units – January 18, 2005
Smith Barney analyst expects Apple to sell 22 million ‘iPod flash’ units over next two years – December 10, 2004


  1. I don’t think they’ll do 21 million, but it’ll be close. More like 15 million. But hey, I’ve been wrong before. (Mac Mini anyone?)

    Brought to you by “later”, as in when we’ll know if this is true.

  2. I just don’t get the iPod hoopla. If Apple could make one product or the other, would you prefer it be Macs or iPods? These PowerBooks and G5s are getting long in the tooth. I lost a sale of 10 G5s to Dell yesterday because the dual 2.5 G5 benchmarks slower using Maya than the top of the line Dell. I sure could have used a dual 3.0 G5.

    I tried, “I’ll throw in an iPod Shuffle with each machine.” Didn’t work.


  3. Hah–I use Maya on top-of-the-line Macs and Dells, and the Mac BLOW AWAY the Dells. There’s simply no comparison when using them. Not only are the Macs faster, they run Maya more stably as well.

    Interestingly, most of my students, who had never used Macs, now use the Macs we have in the lab (when they can get on them!) over the Dells b/c there is such an obvious advantage in using them for work.

    So go tell your stupid client they’re not paying attention to the real-world performance of the Macs when using Maya. That’s what counts, and the difference is very real.

    This post brought to you by “should,” as in, “I should have bought a PM G5!”

  4. Thelonius. 10 units is a big sale. You might want to consider making one unit a designated loner unit that you let big customers like this play with for a week before making their decision. Challenge Dell to do the same. I think the Mac will win handily. You can also always sell the loner as refurbished 6 months down the line and reduce your overhead.

  5. Question about iPods in general?

    What does NapsterToGo do, when WMA players make up a pathetic 6% of the entire digital music player market?

    NapsterToGo on a flash player doesn’t exactly make use of their ‘10,000 songs a year’ example does it?

    So.. basically, Apple is putting Napster out of business on two different fronts, first with the iTMS and second with the iPod dominance of WMA HD players? Got it.

  6. An important thing about these millions of iPod shuffles is that they will have millions more folks installing iTunes on their PCs. In the format struggle with Microsoft over who will control “Entertainment Centers” this is crucial. Microsoft already has their crappy proprietary versions bundled onto the PCs. Getting iTunes on more PCs is crucial.

    Magic word is “together.” As in: we’re all “together” on this, right fellow MDN ranters?

  7. Did walkman’s have screens? Do portable CD players have screens that tell you more than 1..2..3? Not having a screen is not an issue. Many people know their playlists backword and forward, or with autofill, all the song will be pretty close to favorites. Many of these will sell for style though. Apple made great “style” descision with the shuffle.

  8. No one ever seems to talk about the network effect of iTMS selling 1.25 million songs per day. This is probably insurmountable by any competitor. It is like trying to overcome Windows in the business world. You can’t do it, not because the Windows technology is better but just because there is value in using what nearly everyone else uses.

    Eventually, artists and labels are simply going to ignore the alternative music stores if they haven’t started already.

    Another question that someone with more marketing chops than I have should answer, how many FairPlay songs does it take before a user will simply not consider an alternate music store? Is it 10, 20, 50 or higher? I have 550 songs in my Purchased Music playlist. I paid for 452 of them, the rest are the free iTMS songs that are available each week. Consider me locked in.

  9. “Eventually, artists and labels are simply going to ignore the alternative music stores if they haven’t started already.”

    Even though porting is so damn easy.. MP3–> WMA I mean.. Why drop support for other stores..

    What will this do for QT.. it’s insane how good the QT is feeling these days..

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