new space gray ipod touch

Apple posted some huge sales numbers for the holiday quarter earlier today. During the 3-month period, the company sold 51 million iPhones, 26 million iPads—both records—and a surprisingly high 4.8 million Macs. But not all of its device sales were impressive.

iPod sales decreased by more than 50% since last year’s holiday quarter, with Apple selling just 6 million units during the time frame. And during the company’s earnings call, Tim Cook admitted that it has known for some time that the iPod is a declining business…

Cook’s comment came during the Q&A portion of the call, when he was asked if Apple is still a growth company. Here’s the transcript:

Q: Are you still a growth company? And should we expect the growth rate to accelerate as we go throughout the year? And why if that’s the case?

A: I think it’s important to listen to what Peter said about the guidance, and about the compare year over year. And the  point that he made that the underlying sell through that we’re very confident of growth year over year. That is the way we look at it. I know some people just look at the numbers on a piece of paper.

But the way I look at our business from a sell through point of view, less iPod. Because I think all of us have known for some time that iPod is a declining business. And when you do that, and look at the numbers from last quarter, it comes up to a double-digit growth. And we’re proud of that.”

It’s interesting because although we’ve seen this in the numbers—iPod sales have been sliding downward since 2008—it’s really one of the first times we’ve heard an Apple exec admit it publicly. It makes you wonder what the company has in store for the MP3 player.

First introduced in 2001, the iPod kickstarted Apple’s road to greatness, and it has since served as a halo product, bringing non-Mac users into the company’s ecosystem. In recent years, however, sales of the iPod have been cannibalized by iPhones, iPads and others.

The last update to the iPod touch, nano and shuffle lines came last fall in the form of a new color, and the classic model hasn’t seen an update in nearly 5 years.

What do you think Apple has in store for its iPod lines?

  • Cesar D

    The thing is that every person in the world has an iOS device (except for iOS haters and android fans), so they don’t sell because of this :B

    • Stacy J. Sawyer

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    • Your Mother

      there are 8 billion people in the world. and 1 billion of them have an Android device. last time I checked., 80% market share vs 15% does NOT mean every person in the world has n iOS device.

  • Chris Holden

    i still have my 1st gen ipod and ipod touch 2g, and they both work, long live ipod/ipod touch!

    • Adel Ali

      Hate to see them go

  • Pukka12

    Of course it’s declining, people are replacing them with iPhones, which are actually more profitable.

    • N&LH

      It is not about more profitable. It is about, there is nothing special about the iPod anymore. The iPhone can do more than what the iPod can. For example,I have an iPhone, so I cannot find any reason to buy an iPod

      • iRy757

        Let’s be honest… First things first, yes it is about profit. Apple makes bank from carriers based off of iPhones that are activated with post paid service, that’s a very large portion of their income. Second, every Apple fan can admit that innovation in general has gone down hill since Steve passed, but we keep supporting the product and the company because we love the Apple brand and what it once stood for. Don’t get me wrong, Tim Cool is a marketing don and he’s done a lot for the company, but the passionate about the product they put it out is gone. Third, the MP3 player in general is a dying business. Walk into your local Best Buy and you will see Walkman, Sandisk, Trio, and other terrible products. Apple is actually RUNNING the MP3 genre. When the iPod dies out, the MP3 player dies out.

      • N&LH

        Profit could be part of it. However, as I wrote in my prvious comment. Can you tell me, is there any reason to buy iPod if you have an iPhone?

        In regards Innovation, I think Apple has cool products in the pipeline. To come up with new category or reinvent a product, it takes a long time. For Instance, it took Apple around 7 years between iPod & iPhone. It is not that easy to come up with something new every year. Moreover, every company has many projects on the shelf, so they don’t release all what they have in one year.

        All companies do the same thing, so far, we have not seen any breakthrough from the competitors.

      • iPT MSTR

        I could be that you use your iPod for gaming, music and videos, and your iPhone only for work purposes

      • N&LH

        Still you can use the iPhone to play games, listen to music and watching videos. Personally, I prefer to carry with me one device to do all these things, rather than caring two devices

      • N&LH

        In the end, it is a personal choice

      • iPT MSTR


    • N&LH

      It is not about profitable. It is about there is nothing special about the iPod any more. The iPhone can do more than what the iPod does. For example, I have an iPhone, there is no reason that lets me to buy an iPod.

    • Rhoads Brady

      i don’t have the money to afford an unlocked iphone, i use an ipod & a texting/calling app for free. me, & most of my friends have the 4th or 5th gen ipods & cant afford $70 a month data plans

  • StarViruZ

    I prefer wait for iPod touch 6g

  • Virus

    It was clear Apple had no choice but to make a iPhone when all of them Sony Walkman w800i phones started coming out I found it pointless to carry two different devices

  • diggitydang

    I think Jobs said it once, and I’m paraphrasing, but along the lines of “we knew that the iPhone would hurt iPod sales. But if we didn’t do it, someone else would”.

  • TDD140

    I’ve still got my iPod Shuffle 2nd Gen, iPod Nano 2nd Gen, and iPod Touch 2nd Gen. Long live the second Generation Devices!!! They all have their different purposes for me.

  • eKoknight

    I’ve had all the iPod touch models except the 1st iPod touch. Does this mean no iPod touch 6 gen?

  • Niko Vitaglich

    If the next iPod Touch will have the same camera, camera flash, RAM and two speakers, then it will be perfect.

  • n0ahcruz3

    Buy an iphone, no need to buy an ipod or ipad(just a larger ipod). For workhorse device mb air/pro. For tablet, galaxy note 10.1 is better comes with a dedicated stylus. Works great.(no bias here)

    • felixtaf

      No bias detected.. But everyone have their preference…

  • felixtaf

    An iPad starts at 299 and an iPod starts at 229.. How it wont decline… Ridiculous pricing in one of the reason too…
    Few of my friends who switched to android, have new iPod (Jus to have the iOS experience)…

  • At

    I own the 160 gig classic, simply because all my music won’t fit on an iPhone unless I get the 64 gig, and then I may as well have a 16 gig iPhone. I see apple finally raising the storage for the iPhone to 32 gig entry model, and keeping a few iPod models available. Whether your an android fan, windows, blackberry whatever you have to admit the iPod is the best MP3 player on the market, and with the iPod touch you can just about get the full iPhone experience and still have your android/windows/blackberry phone.

    I could see them keeping a iPod touch generation with a bigger screen, the classic, and the mini around for years to come.

  • Ishaan Malhotra

    Ipod touch has better headphone sound quality. I prefer listening to music on 4th gen ipod than on my i5

  • Alex Rodriguez

    A $99 iPod would do it.

    Most adults own an iPhone. Teens generally buy the iPod

    Trust me when I say, apple can lower the price to $99 and make big money.

    Yes they might have to sacrifice a little bit of quality. Shit they did it to the iPhone 5 (the iPhone 5 C (plastic))

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Firstly many young people iPhones and secondly overhaul I agree with you. I’d never want a plastic phone but a plastic iPod on the other hand I wouldn’t be entirely opposed of. Plus if it did genuinely cost $99 I know I’d buy it and lots of other people probably would too. The main thing Apple should do though is find something to replace the iPod Classic…

    • Rowan09

      We don’t know currently how much it costs them to build it, before just dishing out a price. Last time I read an article it costs $149 for the first iPod Touch, so if the new model costs the same, $99 is way too low, maybe starting at $199. Selling at a lost is pointless, it would make sense to just scrap the whole line altogether.

      • Alex Rodriguez

        Scrap the line?

        The same line that developed an industry and revolutionized portable music……

        It’s about competing and inventing. I disagree with eliminating the iPod.

  • Jonah

    I think one of the reasons why (specifically iPod touch) they are declining is because the hardware is never apples most updated. For example the iPod touch 5g only being equipped with the A5 processor.

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    This makes sense. You have record iPhone sales so why do all these people need an iPod if they have an iPhone?

  • Steve

    Now is the time for dropping the price.

  • Kamal Ahmad

    Apple gives iPod really weak specs at what I would say an expensive price. Thats why the iPod is a declining business.

    • N&LH

      No, it is about if you have an iPhone then what are you going to do with iPod?

      • Kamal Ahmad

        Some teens dont want an iPhone since it’s expensive, but iPod could’ve been a better option if it had stronger specs at the same price, or the same specs as iPod 5 but a cheaper price

      • N&LH

        I agree with. Apple might give the iPod a better specks this year

      • Rowan09

        What’s cheap? I don’t believe specs is the issue because kids in 4th grade have smartphones now. The iPod line is being replaced by iPhones, Apple knew this was going to be the case when they included the music player on the iPhone.

      • Kamal Ahmad

        Don’t you think it’d be easier for parents to buy their children who are apparently in 4th grade a cheaper device?

      • Rowan09

        Yes but that’s not the case. I remember when I was young I couldn’t even ask for $90 sneakers, now kids have cellphones with parents paying their plans.

      • Cool

        I know right! There are kids in grade 1 that have iPhones paid by parents! It’s ridiculous.

      • Rowan09

        I know these kids are spoiled.

      • Cool

        I know! These kids also have TVs in their rooms. Then the parents are surprised the kids don’t sleep at night when the kids watch Jersey Shore until midnight!

      • Liam Mulcahy

        Most teens don’t care about specs

  • Jason Baroni

    I would be proudly happy with a new refreshed iPod Classic.

  • Cool

    Maybe it’s because it’s too expensive

  • Beck Hoefling

    Just about every iPod is overpriced

    • Rowan09

      From an article I read on the first gen, it costs $149 to make, so it’s the same pricing scheme as other companies. Nevertheless Apple is not known for cheap products and never will be.

  • Jonathan

    Apple, don’t you dare get rid of them. There are hundreds of thousands of us teenager who use them. If you get rid of them, iPads would be too big, and we’re not ready for iPhones (according to our parents..)
    There are 4 iPods in this house,once 5, but it was lost.
    2 2nd gen (1 lost)
    1 3rd gen
    1 4th gen (me)
    1 5th gen (also me)
    I am planning on getting the iPhone 6 when it comes out, but keeping both iPods happily jailbroken for Airplay devices and more.

  • Jon20

    IMO, they should scrap the metal build for the iPod and use the 5c build instead. That way it would be a cheaper build and they can sell it at a cheaper price and wont have to scrap the product all together.

  • John714

    I once lost a very good friend because I stole a very cool IPod at his house back in 2008. I couldn’t resist myself it was just so cool…. what was I thinking….

  • Rhoads Brady

    I can’t afford an iphone, since xmas of 2012 i’ve had my 5th gen ipod touch 32gb & babied it. even with my nexus 7 2013, & my macbook pro mid 2012, i would hate to see the ipods go. i’ve bought so many ios apps & without an ipod there useless.

  • Jason Baroni

    I like the “budget” 16GB iPod touch 5g, but it turns a little pointless without the camera. Apple is being Samsung on iPods, trying to reach everyone with a different model…

  • Oliver Hyde

    The iPod is great for those people who don’t have enough money to buy an iPhone ie. me

  • papagogomu

    if ipod hv simcard intergration but without phone intergration like ipad lte, may be people will consider, one of the reason is people need mobile internet connection than stick to the non-mobile wifi as ipod is more mobile compared to ipad without lte

  • Your Mother

    what!! the iPod is in a class all by itself. they just need to do more to promote it as much as they do the iPhone and iPad.

  • ben

    the reason it has declined is becouse they have not created a new one since 2012 and people want an updated device

  • ben

    Their a declining business because they have not created a new improved one since 2012