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Holiday sales of new iPod shuffle double predecessor

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Apple Computers new Pod shuffle and its attractive $79 price point appear to have struck a chord with consumers, who are gobbling up the flash memory-based digital music player twice as fast as last year.

According to data from market research firm NPD Group, U.S. sales of the lone 1-gig model during the month of November were approximately double that from the same month last year, when Apple offered two distinct configurations.

The shuffle's stellar debut has been good enough to make it the top-selling flash player overall, capturing a 16.3 percent market share of the flash market during its first month on the market.

"It's been very successful," commented Steve Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD.

According to NPD's data, the iPod shuffle accounted for 21 percent of all iPod sales in November, a time in which supplies of the player were slightly constrained.

Slightly ahead of the shuffle in the iPod sales mix was Apple's updated fifth-generation video iPod players, which accounted for approximately 28 percent of players sold.

Meanwhile, the iPod nano maintained its commanding lead as the most popular digital music in the U.S., making up some 51 percent of all iPods sold by the Cupertino, Calif.-based company last month.

Come year's end, it's possible that shuffle sales could more closely rival those of the more fully-equipped video iPods. The player didn't make its formal market debut until the 3rd of November and was subsequently sold out for the better part of the month at online retailers such as Amazon and Target.

Even Apple seemed to face some backlog issues with the shuffle last month, as its online store indicated longer wait times for the player than all other iPod models.

Availability has since improved at Apple, and the player also recently returned to Amazon.com. However, Target's website indicates the miniature iPod is sold out for the remainder of the year.
post #2 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

stuck a chord

I hope you meant "struck a chord"! It's not just the pricepoint, one would think, but also the fresh design, the newness and definitely the timing for the Christmas season!
post #3 of 26
Can anyone explain why Apple hasn't done coloured Shuffles yet?
- I would have thought that a variety of colours for a low-cost, fashionable iPod would be really popular
- I guess they're already selling as many as they can make, but it seems strange that they haven't done this.

\
post #4 of 26
Just a guess, but why not get us all to buy the silver ones, then after a while, release colored ones. At $79, many people will buy a second, colored one.
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post #5 of 26
The new shuffles are pretty cool, I got my dad a $79 Apple gift card for xmas so he can get one if he wants .
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by iMick View Post

Just a guess, but why not get us all to buy the silver ones, then after a while, release colored ones. At $79, many people will buy a second, colored one.

You could be right
- I think many people would buy 2
- you could have a different one for different moods, or different activities, or different clothes
- each one could have a different playlist...
post #7 of 26
We shuffle to the left, we got none left :P
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post #8 of 26
I think starting out with a single model makes sense.
It is easier to manage the rollout with only a single SKU.
It also makes it easier for the buyer to make a decision.
Sometimes people can't decide between 2 similar models and end up not buying at all.

Apple has also learned that when folks are buying iPods as gifts, they don't want to spend as much as a personal purchase. Apple is aggressively going after the low end gift giver with a very attractive $79 price point.

The only down side I see to this is that the shuffle and nano don't play video. Less than 30% of iPods being sold will also drive TV show and movie downloads.

Hopefully the next generation of nano will have a much larger screen and be able to also play video.
post #9 of 26
Oops! double double post.
post #10 of 26
I was surprised to hear that the iPod accounts for only 28% of the iPod market. It's likely that will further go down as capacities increase for the nano and even the shuffle, as well as smaller price points.

Many buy the video iPod not because of the video (while that can be and is a strong reason many purchase it) but because of its larger hard drive options.

Next September, when nanos are 4, 8, and 16GB (I'm assuming, not really predicting), the high 16 GB will be more than enough to satisfy the average library.

-=|Mgkwho
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

... Apple is aggressively going after the low end gift giver with a very attractive $79 price point. ...

I wouldn't call it a low-end gift. I think it's quite a substantial gift. The average holiday gift is certainly less than $79.
post #12 of 26
It's a high-end low-end gift.

Profits on the new shuffles vs. the previous gen should be significant. Merry Xmas to all.

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post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by vmardian View Post

I wouldn't call it a low-end gift. I think it's quite a substantial gift. The average holiday gift is certainly less than $79.

I agree, its very nice and I want one myself. But in terms of electronics and MP3 players, $79 is very low for something of this quality.

It will definitely be the hot gift this year. I think we will also find that after Christmas when hundreds of thousands of people start wearing their new iPod shuffle, other people who may not be familiar with the product will become interested. iPods are their own best advertising.
The white earbuds are like walking billboards.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Oops! double double post.

like a pizza with double cheese!
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Meanwhile, the iPod nano maintained its commanding lead as the most popular digital music in the U.S., making up some 51 percent of all iPods sold by the Cupertino, Calif.-based company last month.

you describe shuffle sales in terms of percent-of-flash-based-music players; you then describe the video iPod sales in terms of percent share of music players (a different measure); and then (above) you describe nano sales in terms of percent of "ipods sold". that's a third, and quite a different (not invalid, but different) comparison.

did you mean to say what you said? or are nanos 51% of music player sales? if not, what IS the percent of sales OF MUSIC PLAYERS represented by nanos?

it would be nice to see comparable terms of comparison:
% sales for each of the three iPod models OF ALL music players;
% sales for each of the three ipod models OF APPLE music players.

capece?
post #16 of 26
The big three do not report data to NPD though I would imagine Walmart does not offer much a big change % wise in sales. Apple & amazon I would think would tip the scales much more so from the NPD data, they are just guessing as what the real % DAP's sold are ipods.

As for the ipods, Apple has smartly divided up the market:

shuffle - easy gift giving, perfect for exercising (if you can't identify 240 songs, music is really just background for you) and people will spend that much on dinner at Chili's so it's pretty disposable. And yea, the color can come later - maybe that Apple patent for instant color changing will come in handy - it's the right size so it won't cost too much in material ... it will be the hottest thing of 2007 holiday.

nano - colors and the right size plus a screen plus the nike thing. Most people do not really have that much music they want to keep in hand - I would say 50% of people I know cannot really fill a 4GB nano ... the 8GB nano is around so Apple matches the highest flash drive DAP around.

ipod - the pod that does it all - appeals to those who want it all.

Apple has got the whole board covered for this holiday season - next year, the giant ipod video will be here ... but Apple can wait - it's not like people are lining up to buy the current 7" screens other companies are offering so Apple can step in at any time. Consumers are willing to wait for them ...
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtdunham View Post

you describe shuffle sales in terms of percent-of-flash-based-music players; you then describe the video iPod sales in terms of percent share of music players (a different measure); and then (above) you describe nano sales in terms of percent of "ipods sold". that's a third, and quite a different (not invalid, but different) comparison.

did you mean to say what you said? or are nanos 51% of music player sales? if not, what IS the percent of sales OF MUSIC PLAYERS represented by nanos?

it would be nice to see comparable terms of comparison:
% sales for each of the three iPod models OF ALL music players;
% sales for each of the three ipod models OF APPLE music players.

capece?

Yeah. I appreciate the AI information but the % should be more like you describe. You're a Virgo, probably? Or a pro-investor/ finance dude/dudette??? 8)
post #18 of 26
The SRSuperDuperAnalystInstitute.com is modelling 20 million iPods sold fiscal Q1 2007 (Oct-Dec 2006).
Estimated breakdown is 10 million Nanos, 5.5 million iPod Videos, 4.5 million iPod Shuffles.
iPod (all models) US market share of mp3 players sold during this quarter is estimated at just over 70%.

14 million iPods (all models) were sold in fiscal Q1 2006 (Oct-Dec 2005). [Wikipedia]
post #19 of 26
ttdunham:
You're one of those guys that come to a rumour site like appleinsider and demand that the editors tell you everything you wanna know. That's just silly. These are the facts that appleinsider was able to grab, so be happy with it.

What we can calculate from those numbers is that if the shuffle represents 16.3% of all flash players and 21 % of all iPods and the nano represents 51% of all iPods then Apple has a market share of 55% on the flash player market. I think that's quite low! Though let's not forget it's just for one month (Nov'06) and one market (the US).
post #20 of 26
More important than designer covers, would be playlists managed by iTunes. 250 songs is a bit too many to shuffle through at random. We need different playlists for different moods.

It wouldn't make the Shuttle any more complex. A spring-return position past on for the power switch could switch between Playlists, with iTunes providing a text-to-audio cue what's in a particular playlist and playing starting a few seconds after the cue if nothing is done.

--Mike Perry, Untangling Tolkien, Seattle
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by reverie View Post

...These are the facts that appleinsider was able to grab, so be happy with it...

I think AppleInsider has more facts in the full report but they can't just give all the info because of legal reasons. They have to just pick the most important and report them, or pick in such a way that they don't get too much heat from, in this case, NPD.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

More important than designer covers, would be playlists managed by iTunes. 250 songs is a bit too many to shuffle through at random. We need different playlists for different moods.

It wouldn't make the Shuttle any more complex. A spring-return position past on for the power switch could switch between Playlists, with iTunes providing a text-to-audio cue what's in a particular playlist and playing starting a few seconds after the cue if nothing is done.

--Mike Perry, Untangling Tolkien, Seattle

What happens next year when the price and size of NAND comes down again? Does Apple up the Shuffle's NAND to 2GB or do they simply lower the price and add color options? I expect they go for the latter, as trying to shuffle 500 songs would be a bit of a pain.
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post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by vmardian View Post

I wouldn't call it a low-end gift. I think it's quite a substantial gift. The average holiday gift is certainly less than $79.

Word. For family maybe, but friends? Naw.
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post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

...Trying to shuffle 500 songs would be a bit of a pain...

I agree. Beyond the 250-song mark, the whole Shuffle concept does not really apply anymore. Apple will keep the current 1gb teensy weeny metal Shuffle at least until the middle of next year. It is still a great entry-level iPod, and Jan-Feb 2007 will be sort of clearing the backlog (literally and metaphorically) of people that wanted Shuffles by end of 2006.

I do not expect, with the exception of "iPhone" or iPod Phone, that the iPod line will be touched until April 2007.

Sorry, one more thing that may occur though is that iPod Cinema (widescreen touch iPod video 6th gen) that will phase out the iPod Video 30gb and 80gb. This will likely only start shipping mid-February 2007.

To sum up, I predict:

1GB Metal Shuffle - as is until June 2007
iPod Nano - whole line as is until June 2007, black Nano may be reduced in price in March 2007.
iPod Video - phased out in Feb-March 2007 in favour of iPod Cinema
iPod Phone - shipping from mid-Feb 2007, announced next month before or on MacWorld.
post #25 of 26
<quote>The new shuffles are pretty cool, I got my dad a $79 Apple gift card for xmas so he can get one if he wants .</quote>

Good call, eh?
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post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilraman View Post

I agree. Beyond the 250-song mark, the whole Shuffle concept does not really apply anymore. Apple will keep the current 1gb teensy weeny metal Shuffle at least until the middle of next year. It is still a great entry-level iPod, and Jan-Feb 2007 will be sort of clearing the backlog (literally and metaphorically) of people that wanted Shuffles by end of 2006.

I do not expect, with the exception of "iPhone" or iPod Phone, that the iPod line will be touched until April 2007.

Sorry, one more thing that may occur though is that iPod Cinema (widescreen touch iPod video 6th gen) that will phase out the iPod Video 30gb and 80gb. This will likely only start shipping mid-February 2007.

To sum up, I predict:

1GB Metal Shuffle - as is until June 2007
iPod Nano - whole line as is until June 2007, black Nano may be reduced in price in March 2007.
iPod Video - phased out in Feb-March 2007 in favour of iPod Cinema
iPod Phone - shipping from mid-Feb 2007, announced next month before or on MacWorld.

This is what I'm digging about Apple these days: they just keep mixing it up. Bringing out colored Shuffles wasn't necessary, from a sales perspective, but it keeps Apple in the public eye (even as Vista is launching) and throws a curve to the competition, who are ever playing catch up and trying to figure out why the last model was so popular.

I think this year is all about stringing out the releases so that there is constant Apple buzz all the way up to iPhone and the new multi-touch iPod.
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