How many iPods did Apple sell?

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“Today we look at the analysts’ Q2 2010 estimates for a product line in transition: from simple MP3 players like the classic iPod to pocket-sized computers like the iPod touch,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“This quarter, the range in unit sales estimates is narrower than usual, from a high of 11.3 million from Susquehanna’s Jeff Fidacaro to a low of 9.1 million from Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster and Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty,” Elmer-DeWitt reports

“We’ll get the official numbers when Apple releases its quarterly earnings on Tuesday, April 20,” Elmer-DeWitt reports.

Full article, with a chart of individual analyst’s iPod unit sales predictions, here.

MacDailyNews Take: An aside: People who think that “iPod sales” are decreasing, fail to account for the fact that every single iPhone and iPad ever sold contains an iPod built right in.

13 Comments

  1. Smart butt. Do you fail to understand the whole concept of the article? Or the MDN take?

    MP3 only devices, I think – will move more in the direction of the iPad Nano. Very small single purpose devices.

    Abandoning the larger MP3 single-purpose player for integrated devices like the Touch or iPad, oh yeah – and the Zune. Hahaha

  2. MDN take ….”People who think that “iPod sales” are decreasing, fail to account for the fact that every single iPhone and iPad ever sold contains an iPod built right in.”

    I somehow doubt that. They are talking about the physical device. You can call the software in the iPhone and the iPad an ‘iPod’ … but to most people the iPod is the device itself.

    If you’re tracking trends, you’d want to know if sales of the actual iPod device are declining. That would tell you a lot about how people are consuming music.

  3. “An aside: People who think that “iPod sales” are decreasing, fail to account for the fact that every single iPhone and iPad ever sold contains an iPod built right in.”

    That’s such an important point. Apple is actively cannibalizing their lower-margin products (iPods) with new higher-margin products (Touches, iPhones, iPads) — and they’re still selling tons of the iPods.

    How many large companies would take that risk? How many of those could pull it off?

  4. I still have an original “brick” iPod. It has a black and white screen and I think 5 GB of memory and it still works perfectly. Even has the original battery. I’m amazed every time I charge it up.

    It really is amazing that it still works and of course my kids make fun of me but it’s pretty special and it’s in perfect condition. I knew the first time I touched it Apple had something special and that is why I purchased 500 shares of AAPL stock. Want to guess what I paid for the stock at the time and how many share those 500 are now?!

    I’m thinking I’m going to keep it as a collectors item. BTW, thanks SJ for sending my kids to college!

  5. In the early days of the iPhone, Steve Jobs said it was the best iPod they ever made. I don’t think Apple considers the iPhone entirely separate from the iPod system. MDN is right – add the several million iPhones into the iPod numbers.

  6. The two most well-used iPods I own are my two shuffles. One is the older white shuffle that is shaped like an Apple remote control; I hold it in my hand when I go running, to use the controls with zero distraction or unnecessary movement (no need to reach anywhere to adjust volume or skip song). It’s old and a bit abused, but still works fine (I’ll be very sad when it breaks). The other is the previous “clip-on” shuffle; I use it with Sennheiser lanyard headphones and put it around my neck when I go out (when not running). The iPod is clipped to the headphones, and hangs like a pendant. Both very convenient.

    So despite having a full-featured iPod, the iPods I use the most are the two cheapest. The second one I got as an Apple-certified refurb for $29 (which is the retail price for the included Apple earbuds). When all you want is music in shuffle-mode, they are so convenient.

    Apple should push the convenience aspect of their “traditional” music-focused iPods. An iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad can certainly act as great iPods, but they are larger and more expensive, and require more attention in use (looking at and touching the screen precisely). Customers will see the advantages of having an iPod nano or shuffle, in addition to an iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad.

  7. balloonguy quote > “I don’t think Apple considers the iPhone entirely separate from the iPod system. MDN is right – add the several million iPhones into the iPod numbers.”

    True in its own light, but the shipment of ACTUAL iPods is an important statistic. If the word ‘iPod’ is taken to mean “anything running the iPod software” then why make the distinction at all?

    Why? Because there is a real difference from a business and marketing perspective. The development, assembly and marketing of the stand-alone iPod is an ongoing reality apart from the iPhone. What they put in the iPhone and the iPad is not an iPod no matter what Apple’s CEO calls it.

    The stand alone device is the iPod. Otherwise it’s iPod software. (The entire iPod OS isn’t loaded into the Pad and the Phone, is it?)

    Anyway, MSN assumes anyone talking about iPods apart from the iPhn and iPd needs to clearly spell out what they mean when they say iPod. Seems clear to me that iPod refers to the device when the term isn’t used specifically in reference to the embedded players in other Apple products.

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