Where does the iPod Touch fit in to today's marketplace?


I was at the mall yesterday with my fiancé, and while she was getting her shop on I went to the Apple store. I don't go there very often, so that one upside is that I tend to appreciate how clever the design of the stores are each time in addition to playing around with cool toys. I happened across the new iPod Touch, after mistaking it for a phone at first glance. It looks cool, but I had to wonder how these things still sell today. Why do people buy these devices? I mean, pretty much everyone has a smartphone, or at least a feature phone that plays stored music. Ok, the iPod Shuffle is understandable at $49 - it's cheap, compact, has a handy clip to attach to your clothing while biking/working out/etc. But what about the new iPod touch? I was shocked to see the most expensive iPod touch costs $399. $399 for a music and video player?!? I don't get it, I guess, and no offense intended to those who do, but you could get a decent tablet for less than that. What is the market for these things?

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John Appleseed Carey
Vote Up (22)

I just want you to know that im Apples biggest fan. My little sister just got the 4th gen iPod last year and its a neat little toy. I curently just bought the new iPhone 5 do to my love for apple. I have looked at these iPods and i think they are a little on the expensive side but they do do a lot of neat things. as apple has just added their A5 chip to it the new iTouch is extreamly fast. the 4th gen ipod was nice but with iOS 6 its starting to slow down and the apps and becoming to complex for it. over all the new iPod is essentially an iPhone with out a cellular connection. I would recomend this to kids or someone whos around wifi alot due to the fact you can get Voip programs and texting. in my mind this is the ipad mini due to the fact it has a faster processor than most tablets on the market.

Vote Up (19)

It's perfect for anybody who wants to run apps, games, read books, listen to music, etc. but who doesn't want or need an iPhone. The more expensive version comes with 64GB of storage, which a lot of people might not need. I think the pricing is fair, given how many things it can do, the new screen, etc.

I ordered two for my mom and her husband. They have phones already, so they don't need iPhones. So the iPod Touch will work great for them.

Christopher Nerney
Vote Up (18)

Let's put some numbers on this. Plenty of people still are buying the iPod Touch, but sales peaked in 2010 and are now in decline. The iPod Touch came out in 2007. Here are the full-year unit sales since then (which were released in August by Apple as evidence in its patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung):

2008 -- 5.95 million
2009 -- 10.63 million
2010 -- 13.28 million
2011 -- 10.94 million

Unit sales for iPod Touches probably will come in under 10 million this year. So a lot of people (in addition to Jim Lynch and John Carey) see enough attractive features on the iPod Touch to shell out some bucks for one.

On the other hand, a lot more people are buying iPhones and iPads. Unit sales of iPhones jumped to 32.37 million in 2011 from 14.12 million in 2010, while Apple sold 15.97 million iPads last year and should easily sell more than 20 million this year.

Christopher Nerney

BTW, those are U.S. sales above. Obviously many millions more iPod Touches are sold globally, but I don't have those figures.    
Vote Up (17)

Those numbers posted by Christopher Nerney are eye opening - that's quite a lot of iPod Touches!  And if you assume that all of the 11 million sales in 2011 were the $299 version, that still works out to $3,271,060,000!  That sounds like enough revenue to justify a continued investment in the iPod Touch product line.

They are pretty expensive, but really they do most things an iPhone does, and they have the same sweet display, at less cost and with no cell phone contract.  Add in a VoIP application and you have the ability to use the iPod Touch to make calls as long as you are within WiFi coverage.  I think it even supports facetime out of the box.  Assuming the iPad mini is released at a comparable or lower price, though, I would expect some lessened demand for the iPod Touch. 

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