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« Placeless but permanently connected | Main | Stampeded by Mac fanatics, replying to 32 comments on iPod 14% »

July 20, 2006


Tomi T Ahonen

Hi kdt

You just caught me on a good moment ha-ha, sometimes it takes long to respond. Greetings from sunny morning here in Hong Kong by the way, sitting on my balcony and admiring the sunrise.. :-)

Sorry, I thought I responded, was not clear enough. Yes, I count all phones that are classified as musicphones, from the top end SonyEricsson Walkman branded phones and Nokia N-Series musicphones, to the bottom end phones with barely an MP3 player and minimal memory (like the original rather sad musicphone, the Moto Rokr for example)

But yes, the latest data I've seen says about half of musicphone owners use the MP3 players on them. Of course that means most use side-loading music (copying MP3 files from their PCs or copying songs from their CD collections) only a small percent something like 5% buy songs as over-the-air downloads. But keep in mind, a very small percent of iPod owners buy music, most iPod music is also side-loaded, so that is no fault of the musicplayers

But yes, about half of the total population of musicphones are not used to consume music. Still the remaining half totally dwarfs the total installed base of iPods, even though iPods have been around nearly twice as long as musicphones (which were invented in South Korea four years ago)

And yes, essentially all iPod owners have a cellphone, but obviously with 2.8 billion cellphone owners and some 120 million iPods total shipped (many as replacements or duplicates) obviously most of the over 700 million musicphone owners don't have iPods..

Also please note all my numbers are always global numbers, where Apple tends to talk only of their USA performance. Already today major countries like Japan, Korea, Italy, Spain, Sweden etc have larger mobile music markets (downloads direct to musicphones) than MP3 files sold to stand-alone players like iTunes to iPods (source IFPI)

Hope this helps, now I'm heading for some breakfast..

Tomi :-)


Hi Tomi,

to your last paragraph:
Apple claims now that iTunes is the market leader in all 20+ countries it operates in (which is about the Western world).
Ok, it could be so that some markets are very fragmented such that iTunes as #1 has far less than 50% share.
But still it seems to me that Apple claiming this for the first time indicates that iTunes has increased market share and iPod dominates in listening to music purchased online in most of the Western world.
Maybe music phones are mostly used for casual listening?

I would expect this to change once DRM-free music dominates DRM (thus eroding a key iTunes advantage), and music phones become easier to use as music players.


You're a dumbass

The mp3 marketshare for iPod is still nearly 80%. You've screwed up all of the statistics and tried to make them in favor of your suggestions. You're a dumbass. It is true that music phones have outsold iPods...of course. Everyone and their grandmother has a cellular phone. What this information doesn't tell you is most people with music phones do not use them the way they use iPods. I have a phone that can play music but do I listen to music on my phone? No. Maybe you should actually do a little research and think a little bit before you put something out on the internet and make yourself look stupid!

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Alex and You're a dumbass

Alex - sorry for the late reply but this ship sailed years ago, so I was not expecting responses to such an old blog posting as the thesis of the blog has already been accepted by all industry experts including the music industry, the mobile phone industry, the IT industry, the MP3 player industry, and has been clearly endorsed by Apple itself.

Still, to be fair, lets respond to your point. The fact that iTunes is successful, does not in any way invalidate the fact that mobile music is FAR more successful. iTunes this year hits about 2 billion dollars in sales worldwide. Mobile music in 2007 was worth 9 billion dollars. Case closed.

You're a dumbass - didn't you read the blog and notice that this story is old, and there are vast updates to this blog story?

But yes, to your points, you claim iPod market share is still 80%? Of all MP3 players including mobile phones - no it isn't. Apple sold what, 50 million iPods this last 12 month period? The mobile phone industry sells 300 million musicphones. The market share in MP3 players is nowhere near 80%. Just compared with musicphones, Apple's market share is low teens.

Then there are the stand-alone clone MP3 players. They outsell Apple by at least 3:1 by the last numbers I've seen for global sales. In China alone they sell more clone MP3 players than iPods sold globally. Be real.

As to not using the musicphone to play music? I have blogged several times with actual user info, about how people use their musicphones, back in 2006 and 2007 proving that there are many more people using their musicphones for consumption of MP3 songs, than there are total iPod users. Maybe YOU don't use your phone this way, maybe you have a lousy phone? Get an iPhone and get with the program. The rest of the world has discovered this already. Not everyone with an iPod will stop using their iPods, but increasingly people do. Sorry, wake up and smell the cellphone.

Thank you both for writing

Tomi Ahonen :-)


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Walkman phones as part of the same market as iPods, then perhaps I am not all that crazy after all?

But thank you for the long, well reasoned comments

Commission Pimp

I think the Ipod is dead... I mean there is still people who buy it, but let's face it: it has the same price of the Iphone (even less if you buy an iphone with some plans like the ones from 3), but you can't make phone calls and it doesn't have internet (at least not the internet from the phone provider).
So why should somebody pay so much just for a media player when they can get a knock off for 1/10 of the price or get an iphone or an android for the same price and use it as a phone too?


When you buy a song, TV show, app, or book from the App Store or the iTunes Store, iCloud stores it in your purchase history. So you can download what you want, from any of your devices, to whichever devices you choose.1 For example, if you don’t want your iPad to automatically download everything you buy on your iPhone, you can choose just the things you do want to download — song by song, episode by episode, app by app, and book by book.


Hi! Your article conveniently avoids the question of how many owners of music phones actually use them to listen to music? If more and more phones are incorporating music players, it's inevitable more music-playing phones will be sold.


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The Ipod probably died because they put music capabilities in the Iphone and that skyrocketed the sales of the Iphone.

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