Apple: We Knew Traditional iPod Sales Would Decline, That's Why We Developed iPhone

During their Q3, 2009 conference call today, Apple chief operating officer Tim Cook revealed that Apple forecast "traditional" iPod sales would begin to decline (sales of iPod shuffle, iPod nano, and iPod classic), which is why they developed the iPod touch and iPhone.

Apple maintained an over 70% US share of the MP3 market, and sold 10.2 million iPods, including iPod touch and the aforementioned traditional iPods. Though they once again didn't break down the sales mix, traditional iPods were down year over year, while iPod touch sales continue to grow, up 130%. Add to that 5.2 million iPhone sales last quarter, and it looks like Apple's new focus on their new mobile platform is well founded.

As Apple has always maintained, if someone is going to cannibalize their market, it's going to be Apple themselves.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • All apple really needs to do is lower prices of all the ipods, then they would sell a LOT more. Im sure it would never happen but when you can get an iPhone for with double the storage for the same price as a nano ($149) who would get the nano? I bet apple will change prices around (lower) at the next conference they have before the holidays. They switched around/lowered the macs and iphone, now its ipods opportunity to shine again.
    p.s. im sure apple doesnt NEED to sell a ton of ipods, but this is just something I think they will do.
  • Yeah, but you don't have to sign a 2-year contract to pay $80/month to maintain your Nano.
  • iPhone is much more profitable for them than the iPods Classic, video, etc. Why promote a product that will lead to less money? Even the iPod touch will add to their numbers moreso because of their 30% cut of app store sales.
    It's so impressive to hear about a company that is forced to either evolve or die and does so successfully. I think video game retail outlet. Will be forced into this situation. Unfortunately Nokia isn't reacting to the shift in the wireless industry with innovation. Hopefully they can get it together.
  • iPhone FTW
  • I recently resold my iPod for 125. Glad I did it when I did, cuz it looks like iPod classic are going to be a thing of the past by January 1. I've had an iPhone for over a year now and I'm real glad I made the full switch.
  • i think it would be a mistake to get rid of the classic, if anything they should up the capacity. For a lot of people the touch and the iphone just dont have the capacity. My classic is full and i dont have all my music on it.
  • Personally, I thought that one of the more interesting points in the call was when Cook referred to iPod, iPod touch and iPhone as "pocket" products.
    To me, this suggests that there is some segmentation/re-classification of their various products planned that is probably timed to the tablet device rollout, something that I blogged about in:
    Analysis: Apple June Quarter Earnings Call - Keeping it Real
    Check it out, if interested.
  • I am new to this forum.say hello to everybody.