It’s something that was easy to miss, but in talking up the user base for the iPad, Steve Jobs indirectly revealed what many following the company suspect. If the iPod touch has not already become Apple’s best-selling iPhone OS device, it soon will be.
Much to consternation of six-figure analysts, Apple doesn’t break out iPod sales, but there are hints. At the conference call for last quarter, it was stated that iPod touch sales for the quarter were up 55 percent year over year. That helped explain how iPod revenue was up by one percent from a year ago, even though total iPod units sold were down eight percent.
However, it was a remark from WWDC ’09 and the one from the iPad event that add up to the iPod touch now being the leading iPhone OS device.
On June 8 at WWDC ’09, it was announced that more than 40 million iPhone OS devices had been sold, and this is where it gets a little tricky. We know that through the end of June Apple sold 26.38 million iPhones. Subtracting that number from 40 million gives us 13.62 million, which admittedly leaves out sales of the iPod touch in June.
However, we do know for that entire quarter Apple sold 10.22 million iPods. Pick a number for June iPod touch sales. One million, three million, it doesn’t really matter. Let’s say two million, or 15.62 million iPod touches, 42 million iPhone OS devices total through June, 2009.
At the iPad event, Steve Jobs announced 75 million iPhone OS devices had been sold to date, though whether that date was January 27 or January 1 is not known. It won’t matter either way, but let’s assume the latter. Through 2009, Apple sold 42.517 million iPhones. Subtract that number from 75 million iPhone OS devices and we get 32.483 million iPod touches.
If you’re still awake, here’s the bottom line: the rate of sales growth of the iPod touch is very likely greater than the table shows, as in double that of the iPhone. True, the period includes the holiday quarter, the best quarter for iPods, but it just doesn’t matter. The iPod touch, the stealth device for iPhone OS, will be the best-selling model for the platform in 2010, if it isn’t already, and it is.