Apple iPod sales down 17 per cent

Is Apple's music player struggling against a smartphone takeover?

iPod classic

Apple's iPod music player sold 17 per cent fewer units than during the same period of 2010, the company revealed in its quarterly earnings call, this evening.

Within record-breaking second fiscal quarter results, which saw the company shift 18.65 million iPhones between January and March, came the news that the iPod had suffered a notable decline in sales.

Cupertino still reported solid sales of 9.02 million iPods – in various guises – which keeps the device way ahead of the pack, but the year-on-year comparison may worry the company somewhat.

The April 2010 report saw just a 1 per cent drop-off from 2009, with 10.89 million sales. However, the trend is downwards, and 17 per cent in this year's report is a much bigger fall, providing definite food for thought.

Why?

It could be that the iPhone's colossal sales tally has meant that users have less need for a standalone iPod touch or classic. If that's the case then Apple will be less troubled.

However, with a serious explosion of smartphone use over the last year or so, are people just using their Android or Windows Phone 7 devices as their primary multimedia devices?

Whatever the case, it's unlikely that Apple will stand by and watch part of its core business continue to dwindle.

Perhaps we can expect some blockbuster announcements at its annual music event in September to get the iPod back on track.