Apple’s iPod hits ‘critical mass’ with 40 percent of all-time unit sales coming in last 90 days

“White is the new black for MP3 players, thanks to Apple’s now mega-popular iPod and its distinctive pearly appearance. The digital music player, which went on sale late 2001, is taking over the hearts, minds and expendable income of America’s coveted 18-to-34-year-old demographic,” Dan Myers writes for The Bowling Green News.

“iPod’s popularity has never been higher, as evidenced by its recent sales. According to a press release, 4.5 million iPods sold through between October and December, 2004, while Apple has sold a little better than 10 million iPods since its release in October, 2001. To put the figures in context, over 40 percent of iPod sales came in just three months — after being on sale for about 39 months,” Myers writes.

“Dr. Chuck Coletta, an instructor of popular culture at the University, explained that the music player’s sudden jump in popularity is an example of a product reaching ‘critical mass. It’s sort of like a groundswell, a few key people get them and all of a sudden everyone wants one,’ Coletta said. ‘Like, six months ago, I don’t think I ever heard of [iPod], and now I have one. I think the big thing now is personal choice,’ he said. ‘This is kinda like the next generation of Walkman. Now you can do it [listen to your own music] but a hundred times more.’ Coletta said the design of the music player is distinctive. ‘You know it when you see it,’ he said. ‘Six months ago, I never thought earphones would be distinctive,’ he said. ‘You see people walking around and you can’t see the actual machine, but you know what they’re listening on,'” Myers writes.

Full article here.


  1. is not the last 90 days.

    But analysts have been saying that iPod sales didn’t really taper off much after the holidays, so the last SIXTY days have probably been good.

  2. I feel like a freak’n pioneer: I’ve had one for almost 4 years. Our immediate family has 3. Oh, wait…I am a pioneer, I have been using Apple products without interruption since 1979.


    (brought to you by the word history, as in I have a long history with Apple.)

  3. My favorite (incorrect) quote from the article:
    “[iPod Shuffles] offer users virtually no control over which songs are played; it downloads 1,000 random songs from its owner’s computer and plays them in a random order.”

    He’s off by a factor of 10, but the idea of a 1,000 song player with no screen strikes me as humorous.

  4. My biggest complaint with this article is that Dr. Chuck Coletta “a professor of popular culture” at a university, had never heard of an iPod until 6 months ago. By then, a good portion of the population had been inundated with the iPod. If he’s an expert in the field of pop culture, you’d think he’d maybe put in some due diligence and learn about what’s popular.

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