Skip to content

The fall of the iPod in numbers

The iPod was a critical product in Apple’s survival, something that few question. Unveiled in October 2001, it marked a turning point for the company. It showed that they could do something different to computers and that they were able to offer a much more affordable category of products, especially with successive iterations.

However, today, more than 12 years after its launch, the iPod is practically dead. In the last quarter they sold almost 3 million units , far from their record set at 22.7 million units in Q1 2009 (fiscal year). The launch of the iPhone first and the ubiquity of the smartphone later signed the end of a successful career. The integration of a music player among its features was to blame.

The fall of the iPod in numbersThe fall of the iPod in numbers

If you’re a fan of Apple or technology in general, you’ll want to know what the iPod journey has been like. From its launch, through its peak, to the slow decline it’s been experiencing for years. That’s exactly what we’re going to look at in this article.

iPod boom and bust in 4 graphics

Apple’s financial reports are among the most extensive and comprehensive in the industry. It is one of the few companies to report on how many units of a product they sell and how much money they make from them. It’s a shame they don’t also break down individual accounts by segment rather than the company as a whole. Despite this, we can get juicy information from their numbers .

Note : Apple’s fiscal year begins in October.

This first graphic shows the complete path of the iPod. Although the iPod was launched in Q1 2002, the units that were initially sold were few and included in other segments such as accessories. This is the reason why they only appear in the graph since the end of 2002.

The growth line has large fluctuations at the beginning due to the ease of improving production capacity when starting from small quantities.

The launch of the iPhone in Q3-Q4 2007 marked the beginning of its stagnation . The record sales of iPods as we said before happened in Q1 2009, from there the fall is irremediable. Each of the peaks represents the boom in sales of the different products during Q1, the Christmas shopping quarter.

This graph represents the moving average of units sold so it eliminates the peaks while smoothing out the data. At the same time, it shows us the tireless growth of the iPhone and the stagnation of the iPad.

But the graph that best represents the path of the iPod and the other three Apple star segments is this one. The iPod has become a residual product for the California company . In terms of units, it is the product that moves the least each quarter. Apple’s product portfolio continues to make it clear that the iPhone is in charge.

An Uncertain Future for the iPod

Análisis del iPod Touch: más interesante que nunca.

In the last 4 years the iPod has only been renewed twice: 2010 and 2012. Coinciding with the release of new external designs for the iPhone. To make matters worse, in 2012 only the iPod Touch and the Nano were renewed, leaving aside the Shuffle and the forgotten Classic.

This year is a renewal of the design of the iPhone and should be accompanied by an update of the entire range of the Apple music player. Has Tim Cook reserved a section of the 9th keynote for the iPod? Personally, I would like to see how the iPod Touch evolves, a product that has sold over 100 million units. Perhaps its way forward is that of a larger portable game console.

As for the Nano, you could specialize in a very specific type of activity : listening to music while doing sport. Including physical activity sensors could free athletes from carrying a larger iPhone curled up in their arm. Whatever your destination, I think we’ll hear from Apple’s legendary MP3 player at next month’s event.

At Apple