NPD: Apple iPod gains market share over holidays, up 36% year-over-year

“Apple Computer’s iPods dominated holiday sales of MP3 players, increasing their market share from last year, according to preliminary data from research firm NPD Group,” Troy Wolverton reports for The San Jose Mercury News.

“In the five-week period from Nov. 19 to Dec. 23, iPods accounted for 57.3 percent of all players sold at a panel of electronics stores that notably didn’t include the Cupertino company’s own retail outlets. Apple’s share was up from 42 percent for a similar period last year,” Wolverton reports.

MP3 player market share, Nov. 19 to Dec. 23:
(Rank: Company/Product – Market Share)
1. Apple iPod – 57.3%
2. SanDisk 19.2% (down from 22.1 percent last year)
3. Creative Technology – 3.4%
4. Microsoft Zune – 2.8%

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]
Regarding the actual market share numbers for iPod, NPD does not report sales from Apple Retail Stores, the Apple Store online, Wal-Mart, or among others, which, as you might imagine, are huge. Add those retail outlets sales into the mix and one could reasonably assume that Apple’s iPod share is actually quite a bit larger and the also-rans’ shares lower than shown above. Due to limited reporting, the actual NPD market share numbers aren’t nearly as important as the trends they show; Apple’s iPod share as measured by NPD is up 36.4% year-over-year.

One question: Will Zune astroturf sites collectively declining to renew their domain name registrations make a sound, any sound at all?

Related articles:
Apple iPod tops Amazon’s 2006 consumer electronics sales lists – December 28, 2006
Apple iTunes visits skyrocket 413% on Christmas Day – December 27, 2006


  1. So much for the analysts theory that the iPod is getting old. It’s a really great product that works and more an more people are seeing that there is nothing else like it and that works so great! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  2. I’m sure Zune Tang will chime in with some interesting comment – I’m still not sure if they are tongue-in-cheek or reality-warping, but they are amusing.

    These numbers, as noted, are seriously flawed unless properly explained. Looking at them you’d think the iPod had less than a 50% market share last year … and that is not the case. This does show that iPods are gaining in the market segments best suited to their competition. When price really matters and where there are many alternatives to choose from, the iPods still win more often than not.

    DLMeyer – the Voice of G.L.Horton’s Stage Page

  3. @AlanAudio: I was under the impression this article only covered the top 4 selling players.

    Anyway, this is an academic discussion, because the real retail numbers (including direct sales and the missing channel numbers) will blow these figures off the map. *Everyone* I know who has an iPod bought it from Wal*Mart or online at Apple or Amazon. I bet Steve will have a nice big number to share with us next week.

    And once again, I’ll say it, just to irritate you all once more:

    Thirty. Million.

  4. Zune is not responding because he’s stuck in a meeting somewhere deep inside the bowels of Microsoft. He’s trying to keep Ballmer from drowning him in sweat and throwing chairs at him at the failure of the Zune, and of Zune Tang’s online FUD campaign. Ballmer’s especially upset that their tactic of loading gay porn on Zunes didn’t help their sales.

    I kind of pity the poor guy.

    MDNMW: not

  5. At xmas, I knew of at least 6 people who received an ipod. I had asked the purchaser of each one why they didn’t consider a Zune.

    The answer in ALL 6 cases was unanimous.

    What is a Zune?

    I damn near died from laughing it was so funny.

    Hey Clyde, the real reason Zune Tang cannot comment is that is mouth is full from giving Ballmer a BJ.

  6. Georgy Porgy, puh-lezz, the Zune is struggling just to reach 3rd place not 2nd. And the NPD data doesn’t count returns.

    AlanAudio the other 17% is spread amongst Sony, Toshiba, iRiver, Machspeed, Coby, Palm, FisherPrice, Archos, Centon, Samsung, RCA, Nextar, Cowon, MobiBLU, Hasbro, Phillips, Wolverine, Harman Kardon, TrekStor, Maxell, Oakley, Nu Tech, and probably dozens of others with a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the market.

    Now wait for the spin machine. Since iPod sales increased 279% in 2004 over 2003 and 234% in 2005 over 2004, a mere 36% increase in 2006 over 2005, will be spun by the Apple haters as a huge failure.

  7. Apple is clearly demonstrating that you can do anything with statistics. Who isn’t surprised to see Apple’s habitual manipulation of the media and analysts at work once again? As Mark Twain once said “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” One of the reasons I am so proud to own a Zune is that I know Microsoft would never attempt such shenanigans. They have so much more integrity than that. Also, try to remember that this is preliminary data. The final numbers will reveal Zune’s fantastic ascension to the top of the MP3 player marketplace.

    From where I sit the Zune is doing remarkably well, thank you. Frankly, I’m a little concerned about the iPod lemmings whose world will come crashing down once Zune sits atop the MP3 player heap. You better hope Apple signs onto Microsoft’s magnificent and liberal DRM implementation, because the iTunes store is about to shut down. The real holiday 2006 quarter sales figures will plainly reveal the sharp downturn in iPod interest and we all know Apple can’t prop up the money-losing iTunes Store forever.

    Let’s hope for all the iPod lemmings’ sake that the typically generous Microsoft comes up with an iPod to Zune crossgrade program. They’re gonna need it.

    Welcome to the Social.

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