iPod sales in the financial year ending September 2012 were over 35 million units bringing the total sales since the launch in 2002 to a staggering 356.3 million units. Peak year for sales was in 2008 when unit sales hit 54.8 million units.
The iPod continues to dominate the music player market but sales have been hit by the launch of the iPhone and the iPad. Apple is never afraid to cannibalize own product sales as the launch of the iPad mini demonstrates.
The sales pattern shows all the classic signs of a product life cycle. But where next for the iconic player? Sales were down year on year by 17.5% but down by as much as 21% in the critical Christmas quarter.
We estimate sales could fall by a further 20% over the next twelve months to around 28 million units to fulfill a classic Product Life Cycle Pattern. Even so by 2016, Apple may still be selling some 10 million iPods. It is not yet time to write off the iPod.
The Apple Case Study from the iPod to the iPad remains a classic Corporate Strategy handbook for success. Watch out for the Winter 2012 update coming soon as we review sales of the iPhone, the iPod and look at prospects for the iPad mini.