Apple sells 100 millionth iPod [updated] | iLounge News


Apple sells 100 millionth iPod [updated]


Apple today announced that it has sold the 100 millionth iPod. “The first iPod was sold five and a half years ago, in November 2001, and since then Apple has introduced more than 10 new iPod models, including five generations of iPod, two generations of iPod mini, two generations of iPod nano and two generations of iPod shuffle,” Apple said in its announcement of the milestone. “Along with iTunes and the iTunes online music store, the iPod has transformed how tens of millions of music lovers acquire, manage and listen to their music.” Apple has also updated its website with the graphic shown here, along with a message thanking music lovers everywhere.

Updated: Apple representatives this morning told iLounge that details about the 100 millionth iPod—the model and color of which are unknown—are yet to be disclosed by the company, though it appears to be in the company’s possession rather than on a store’s shelves awaiting sale. Long-time iPod watchers will recall that Apple announced in January, 2005 that it was keeping the commemoratively engraved 10 millionth iPod as a momento.

What’s next for the company? “We’ve been pretty aggressive in this space,” said Apple Vice President of Hardware Product Marketing Greg Joswiak, listing all of the iPod generations that have come before, without naming any new addition to the family. Though iPhone is coming in June, Joswiak said that it—like Apple TV—is a separate business for the company, and not a replacement for the iPod.

In addition to the iPod’s sales velocity—reaching the 100 million sold mark faster than any music player in history—the company is marking the launch of over 4,000 accessories specifically designed for iPod, with more to come. One previously announced new category of iPod integration—iPod-to-airplane entertainment system connectivity—is coming “this year,” with additional details soon to follow.

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Congrats Apple! I wonder which iPod it was.

Posted by Mark on April 9, 2007 at 9:37 AM (CDT)


Nobody will ever know who bought the one millionth iPod. Unlike iTunes (which is easily trackable), Apple doesn’t sell all iPods directly.

Take Wal-Mart for example. Apple only knows when Wal-Mart restocks their supply, not when they sell individual units.

Posted by BJ Nemeth on April 9, 2007 at 10:01 AM (CDT)


And yes, I just stupidly wrote “one millionth” iPod rather than “100 millionth” iPod.

The one millionth iPod was a long time ago ...

Posted by BJ Nemeth on April 9, 2007 at 10:02 AM (CDT)


Bravo !
I was just holding my first iPod which I got as soon as they were announced back in 2001.

It will be in a museum in a couple of weeks as an object that revolutionised music and our relation to it.

Ok now Steve you can pull out the 6G iPod now ;)

Posted by Dzign on April 9, 2007 at 10:33 AM (CDT)


If the 100 millionth iPod is still in the company’s possession, then wouldn’t that make it the 100 millionth iPod *produced* rather than sold?

I mean, if it were sold, it would no longer belong to Apple, right?

Posted by BJ Nemeth on April 9, 2007 at 11:34 AM (CDT)


The 100 millionth unit sold was almost certainly not the 100 millionth produced.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on April 9, 2007 at 12:24 PM (CDT)


new ipod time   ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡
welcome 6G     ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡

Posted by gonzalo on April 9, 2007 at 2:12 PM (CDT)


This is the part that’s confusing me:

“... details about the 100 millionth iPod ... are yet to be disclosed by the company, though it appears to be in the company’s possession rather than on a store’s shelves awaiting sale.”

Why would the 100 millionth iPod *sold* be “awaiting sale”? And if it was already sold, how did it end up back in Apple’s possession?

I guess I’m eagerly awaiting those details. :-)

Posted by BJ Nemeth on April 9, 2007 at 5:15 PM (CDT)


The 100 millionth unit sold was almost certainly not the 100 millionth produced.

Unless they sold it to themselves. Just a thought…

Posted by flatline response on April 9, 2007 at 5:44 PM (CDT)


Several points:

“Sold In:” A product is shipped to a retailer, who takes possession of the item as it awaits sale to a consumer. Sometimes, the product is at this stage the retailer’s - or “reseller’s” - but sometimes it’s still the manufacturer’s, as it awaits sale to a customer. Game console manufacturers love to use “sold in” as the definition of “sold” because it makes their tallies seem higher, earlier, even if there are tens of thousands of units sitting “in the channel” awaiting final sale.

“Sold Through:” Sold to an actual consumer. Sold through numbers basically guarantee that the numbered items are actually owned by people. Though sell-through numbers are the most accurate, they’re complicated by sales to vendors who don’t track or provide back timely sales statistics, so even a big, well-organized company probably doesn’t know precisely how many units have been sold through to consumers at any given minute. Sell-through gives you a “no fewer than” number versus sold in’s “no more than” number.

“Produced:” In addition to the 100 million iPods sold in or sold through, there are additional iPods that were never sold, but were produced in anticipation of an in-kind transfer or a giveaway. This would include ones that were manufactured solely to serve as replacements for iPods that arrive defective and are replaced at Apple Stores, official Apple contest giveaways, and so on.

“iPod:” Clearly Apple counts iPods, iPod minis, iPod nanos, and iPod shuffles as having contributed to its 100 million tally. But when three of those models are simultaneously being produced, how does one determine (precisely) which is the 100 millionth manufactured? And when those models are being sold through worldwide, how do you really know which one’s sold?

Since the 100 millionth unit sold could be anywhere, Apple most likely picks a “ceremonial” unit around the right time from one of several manufacturing lines. Alternately, it has so aggressively managed its inventory, tracked the sale of every unit individually in all regions internationally, and diminished its total production numbers by the number of giveaway and in-kind units. This (plus probably some other steps) would guarantee that the 100 millionth unit sold was in fact the 100 millionth unit produced. Then Apple would have to buy it for its own collection. I’d put the likelihood of all that as being very, very, very small.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on April 9, 2007 at 6:18 PM (CDT)



I guess my (poorly stated) point all along was that I suspected this was ceremonial (*approximately* the 100 millionth iPod sold) rather than precise (*exactly* the 100 millionth iPod sold). With all of the variables involved, I just find it extremely unlikely that they could track their worldwide sales that accurately, and their statement added even more confusion (selling it, but still owning it).

However, I seem to be the only one who is perplexed by all this, so if I’m wrong, I’ll just sit quietly in the corner wearing the iLounge Dunce Cap this week.  :-)

Posted by BJ Nemeth on April 9, 2007 at 11:27 PM (CDT)


Does the 100M number include the HP iPods? From what I read, HP iPod sales were 5% at their peak.

Posted by hoshieBIOTpod on April 11, 2007 at 10:46 AM (CDT)

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