Unreal: 4 Million iPhones sold to date - Orbitcast

Unreal: 4 Million iPhones sold to date

| 21 Comments

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You can't make this stuff up. Today at MacWorld 2008, Steve Jobs announced that Apple has sold 4 million iPhones to date.

Today marks the 200th day that the iPhone first went on sale (to put that in perspective, it's been 333 days since the XM and Sirius merger was announced).

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That's an average of 20,000 iPhones sold every day.

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In its first quarter of shipping, the iPhone brought in a 19% marketshare of smartphones. Combining Palm, Motorola and Nokia together, "We equaled all them in the first 90 days..." said Jobs.

Couple that with the fact that Apple sold 2 million songs on Christmas Day (that's in one day), and last week the company sold its 4 billionth iTunes track. That billion with a capital B. Unreal.

Now ponder this:
Steve Jobs admitted that they were disappointed with the number of movies sold on iTunes (a meager 7 million movies), so Apple has decided to get into the movie rental business. Can't sell them? Stream them instead. Now, can you imagine what would happen if iTunes music sales began to slow, and Apple decided to get into the radio business?

Start imagining, because it's inevitable.

[Engadget]

21 Comments

Ryan - I don't think that 4 million iPhones is that impressive a number. In fact I think in the next few years Apple is going to have a very small percentage of the music phone business. Actually considering the number of music capable phones (mp3 capability) out there now, they already have a small percentage. I think the phone companies will end up the real winners in that business (Verizon, AT&T etc).

4 million iPhones sold? I think 2 million of them are on eBay. (Kinda like sat radios sitting in dealer lots... ha ha ha...)

NUTS I have no use for it.

What strikes me is the 4 billion tracks on iTunes.

If there are 100 Million iPods in use today, that is a grand total of 40 tracks (less than four typical albums) each.

This is important WHY? Because it says that people are not buying music for their iPods; they are ripping their existing CDs, ripping other peoples' CDs, or whatever, but they aren't willing to purchase music from iTunes. My iPods combined have maybe 20K tracks on them, and I can count on one hand the number of albums I've downloaded from iTunes.

There is no evidence at this point to suggest that iPods have yet become a mainstream source for new music. It could, should happen in the future, but as of now, it hasn't.

People are clearly committed to the iPod as an archival device for existing CDs and stolen music. But they really have not committed heavily to purchasing music at $1/track to put on the device.

Four million phones is impressive. At only $100 profit per phone (I understand that they're making much more) that works out to an extra $400 million to their bottom line. That is a helluva lot of money. As I mentioned earlier, they're making much more.

one big roadblock to music of any kind is bandwith which cell companies dont have...thus the extreme limitations on use of cell internet.

till this is solved there is no real business here.

4 million phones was good for me. I work for a company that supplies some of the parts, and I got a very nice bonus this year thanks to Apple.

As far as the movies go, I'd love to buy one if I could get them to play through my XBox 360.

Paul - In the grand scheme of music cellphones which I think will be well over 100 million units within a couple of years time I don't think Apple grabs a large percentage. I also think cellphones replace the iPod which eventually becomes obsolete like the Walkman. Just my opinion.

Stack raises an interesting point here, but it is an old story. I remember reading some time ago that something like 60% of all CDs sales at one point were sold simply to replace someone's beaten up vinyl collection. I think ripped and downloaded music serve a similar purpose in large part today. I have both- stuff I've ripped from my aging CD collection, which is now stagnant, and stuff I've downloaded off Napster that is both new and familiar. As you get older, there is less "new" that is appealing, but that is the nature of the music business.

Keep in mind that online music sales are up over 40% over last year, so the penetration is definitely increasing quite rapidly.

Wow MUSCLE13, you're a flippin moron aren't you? 4 million isn't impressive?

Last year, 957 million mobile phones were sold worldwide. Apple's goal was 1% market share in 2008. That's 10 million units. They're nearly halfway there and we're just 2 weeks into the year.

They don't need to have a big percentage of the total music phone business. If you knew anything about the cellphone business, which you obviously don't, you'd know that all the money is AT THE TOP. Those "music phones" you're talking about are fucking subsidized like crazy. They're negative profit. Who gives a shit about them.

You do understand those iPhones started at $600 right? They're selling at $400 a piece right now, and that's still crazy overpriced. You bet the cellphone will fucking replace the ipod, because Apple's going to do it AGAIN.

I think Ryan has hit the nail on the head. Apple will flip the switch one day, and XMSR/SIRI will be scrounging for the scraps.

I still can not bring my self to call the iphone a smartphone. Sure it is smart but it is not a phone geared to business users. It is simply a phone that has a lot of music storage or it is an ipod that can also call people. LIke others have said their market share is going to drop.

Stack:

1) The 40 iTunes average is just that - an average. It is obvious that there are still a huge number of people who ARE extensively using iTunes for music discovery, watered down by the people who just rip or copy music. I can almost guarantee you there are more people who download >100 tracks a year than there are total (self-paying) satrad subscribers.

2) iTunes isn't the only download service out there - it's 2/3 of the market, so you can tack on another 20 songs to every iPod from other services.

3) iTunes downloads have grown at a much higher rate than iPod sales in the past couple of years. This means people ARE using iTunes for discovery more and more each day, and that the newer model iPods probably have a lot more than 60 downloads on average. This is a huge competitive threat for satrad, whether or not you consider Apple competition.


You keep on talking about XM's competitive advantage in music selection - and I will give it to you, for the hardcore music aficionados, they have a slightly deeper selection than Sirius - but those millions of iPod fans couldn't care less. Focusing on music selection is an extremely narrow competitive moat, especially when most consumers perceive iPods as offering even more selection and convenience than satrad.

It should be clear to anyone who has followed Apple over the last 6 years that the iPod etc. is a whole lot more than "just a storage device" to the millions of owners by now, and that Sirius and XM aren't going to make a dent in Apple's fanbase anytime soon, if ever.

banff21- I completely disagree with Ryan concerning his thoughts about Apple and how they will be leaders. I actually think Apple went to music cellphones LATE and out of necessity. I think just about everybody sees music cellphones selling more total units than ipods in a couple of years, and my opinion is cellphones eventually replace the iPod with Apple getting a small percentage of music cellphones. Thats just my opinion. I really believe that a device like the iPod goes into the Sony Walkman category in a few years as obsolete.

Congrats MUSCLE13, you just repeated yourself without ever validating your original point. You obviously only have a belief system in place without any knowledge to back it up. So it's worthless discussing this with you, or even at you. Because you just don't get it.

For the record, I fucking hate Apple and I hate that faggot Steve Jobs. But that doesn't mean I'm going to strap the blinders on and say that 20,000 units a day at $400 a pop is a fucking failure.

Good day sir!

I hear that Apple wants to take over the entire food supply next

Banff21 - I don't hate Apple like you do. In fact I think they are geniuses and they have done tremendous business with the iPod. Really remarkable. Sure they are making great money with the iPhone and they will probably make a lot more.

But I think music cellphones are the future, and I don't believe Apple will dominate the market like they did with the iPod. I think the all the phone companies will be major players. I also think music cellphones will obliterate the iPod market in a few years.

Why will people continue to pay for an iPod when you can get the exact same music function on just about any cellphone in the future? Remember the Walkman sold over 100 million units just like the iPod has. Where is the Walkman now? Devices become obsolete. Thats why content is king. :)

The biggest problem with music on cell phones is the interface. Have you see the UI on a verizon phone? It's terrible. You cant even make playlists. Then I need some silly adaptor just to use my normal headphones. The pricing for the music is bad too. You pay for the song if you download it on your pc, then you have to pay again if you want the song downloaded to your phone at a lower bit rate. Yes, you can always transfer it to your phone manually, but still, it's in windows media and not user friendly.

I have an Inno and I used that for 1 year as my main mp3 player until it just quit sending audio out of the headphone jack and the line out. I have the car adaptor, so I can listen to it with a radio. The napster interface to "sync" music on it is really ugly. The only one I really like is iTunes. It's really nice and the biggest factor as to why I recently bought and iPod. Plus it can do video and now I can rent movies and play it back on the tv. It will be a long time before you can rent movies on your phone.

Btw.. just because apple has sold a lot of iPods doesnt mean that every one of them is still in use. I have a friend who has bought 3 of them starting with the 1st generation. He is currently using the 5th gen and the other 2 and just sitting at his house not in use.

Unfortunately, the 'devices' that satellite radio has nowadays, make my transistor radio in the basement look modern. Start offering interactive/customizable playlists, touchscreen technology and the storage capcity of the iPod Classic Models (80GB/160GB) as it stands now, as well as the ability to pick what songs you want a particular station to play, and turn on and off the DJs, then we'll talk. It cracks me up when I see the chatter over XM having the first satellite radio with a color screen (you mean just like the iPod did, 5 YEARS AGO!?!).

Satellite radio is a national service, people in europe don't use it because they don't need it. That's why Worldspace is in such a world of shit. If you're going to try to sell Satellite Radio to someone who has an iPod connection integrated into their car stereo, and quit listening to 'radio' a long time ago, that better be a damn good sell. Even people who HAVE the antennas in their cars, never use it. Espeically when their music tastes only reflect about 1/10 of what satellite radio has to offer. In other words why pay for something you don't listen to, or why pay for radio, period?

On a personal level I probably average about 200 tracks a year from iTunes, also more tracks from EMusic and whatever the free blogs like Stereogum and MOKB are offering. iTunes isn't the only game in town, although it is a very nice way to buy music and has replaced CD buying 100 percent for me. It has also replaced satellite radio, since I don't have to hear mindless droning DJs to hear what I want to hear. Or discover what I might like to hear down the road. Discovery isn't one of satellite radio's strong points, unless you like to discover more rock.

Apple constantly overcharges for all their products, because they know the zellits will buy anything they put out. People should not love their computers or technology *that* much. Apple is a cult.

Wow JonE, you're a boob. Your transistor radio looks modern next to an SDARS radio? Does it? You know, if you spend at least $200 a year on itunes tracks you'd get much, much more music from satellite. You'd also get sports, talk, family, etc. And you could even buy an Inno/Stiletto so you have your precious mp3 player.

Less than 5% of the cars currently on the road have a stereo-in jack for iPods and the ones that do work the same with an iPod as with a satellite device. And no one uses their am/fm antenna? Huh, funny because more people listen to am/fm than anything else, period.

Enjoy that iPod color screen? Some color. White background, black text and a blue bar that highlights your menu selection. Wow. If you want another iPod you can have mine. It's been gathering dust ever since I got an Inno and realized a thumb drive is smaller than an iPod nano so why even bother using it as a storage device.

An iPod is nothing but a flash storage drive with a headphone jack and music player software.

And I love Apple, I work exclusively on them. To compare an iPod to SDARS is just silly.

"You'd also get sports"

Not interested.

"talk"

podcasts. commercial free, and free.

"family"

single. no kids (that I know of anyway)

"And you could even buy an Inno/Stiletto so you have your precious mp3 player."

1 GB or 160 GB. Tough one there.

And I don't have to listen to annoying DJs, has-been shock jocks and some program director cramming his favorite band down my throat with repeated playings. Thanks, I'll pass. I've already crossed that bridge, and burned it.