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Analyst: Slowing iPod Sales Should Worry Record Labels

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In its spartan Wednesday event, Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) boasted it’s sold 225 million iPods to date. So when we saw Forrester VP and music analyst Mark Mulligan suggest, on, that customers upgrading to a new model every two years means an actual installed base of half that, we thought – so what… ?

iPod and its siblings revolutionised the music business and gave labels a lifeline just when they needed one. On Apple’s own stats, shown Wednesday, it still has 73.8 percent of the mobile music player market, with “other” manufacturers languishing on 18 percent, SanDisk (NSDQ: SNDK) 7.2 percent and Microsoft’s Zune 1.1 percent.

So the number of people who own at least one iPod is smaller than Apple’s headline stats because some people own more than one? Big deal. A company that successfully forces customers to shell out again after 18 to 24 months is a company that’s doing well; a tactic seen in other sectors like white goods.

But Mulligan, whom we followed up with, has a darker warning for the companies that rely on iPod: “I don

3 Responses to “Analyst: Slowing iPod Sales Should Worry Record Labels”

  1. Michael Pahl

    did you not take into account that iphones are replacing ipods and taking up the itunes installed base of users that are now downloading more music in terms of songs as ringtones as well as increasing the casual ability to download music thru the itunes app?

  2. Apple is marginalizing their brand and their content delivery process has been alienating consumers for a while. Look for these trends continue when it comes to obtaining music by the masses. I just wonder if the MUSIC MAFIA will end up suing apple as well as its customers.