The iPhone gets all the hype, but the iPod Touch is Apple’s second weapon of mass consumption constituting nearly 40 percent of the company’s mobile device sales, according to a report.
Apple has sold 45 million units of the iPod Touch over its lifetime out of the 120 million iOS devices shipped overall, according to estimates by market research firm Asymco. That’s a hefty number relative to the 60 million iPhones Apple sold through June and the 3.2 million iPads sold to date.
When Steve Jobs introduced the iPod Touch, he called it “training wheels for the iPhone.” The phoneless, contract-free device has easily found an audience: younger people who likely can’t afford hefty smartphone plans but still crave the iOS experience. A study in 2009 found that 69 percent of iPod Touch users are between 13 to 24 years old, whereas 74 percent of iPhone owners are older than 25. The study also found that iPhone owners were generally wealthier than iPod Touch customers.
In a separate post, research firm Asymco questioned why other manufacturers haven’t produced “clones” of the iPod Touch to compete with Apple like they have with the iPhone and the iPad.
“If cloners are rushing to copy the iPad, why not its smaller incarnation?” the company asked.
It’s a worthwhile question. In terms of features and price, the closest competitor to the Touch so far has been the Zune HD, which some observers criticized for having a poorly executed launch. When Microsoft released the Zune HD in September 2009, the device included a few applications handpicked by Microsoft staff, but the platform was not open to third-party developers to offer additional software. In other words, there was no app store to compete with Apple’s gigantic iOS ecosystem. Other than music and video playback capabilities, it was unclear on day one what else the Zune HD could do.
Meanwhile, there are rumors that the Zune HD will be overhauled with Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Phone 7 operating system, which will launch with an app store. Perhaps then the Zune HD might rise as a serious contender to the Touch.
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Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired.com
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Report: iPod Touch Makes Up Nearly 40 Percent of iOS Sales
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