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100 Million iPods Sold, But How Many Are Still in Use?

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April 09, 2007

100 Million iPods Sold, But How Many Are Still in Use?

Rob Hof

Like everyone else, I'm impressed that Apple has sold 100 million iPods. It's incredible, really, and a testament to how well Apple has designed and marketed them. I do wonder, though, how many are still in use. A whole lot less than that, no doubt, given how many generations have come out (and no doubt how many batteries have run out of juice, probably prompting many users to just buy a new and better one). And I'm sure that's nothing unusual for any consumer electronics product. Seriously, does anybody have any idea how many people now use an iPod, besides the "tens of millions" Apple suggests? I'm just wondering how much iPods have spread into mass use vs. fairly tech-savvy folks.

07:21 PM

Apple Computer, Digital Music, iPod

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If the local Caribou Coffee shop at 3:00pm (middle school gets out) is any indication, all the kids have them. And, if I see an adult with an mp3 player, it's always an iPod.

There seems to be a lot of hand me downs, oldest kid gets a new one and the previous iPod is given to the next down the list.

Posted by: PXLated at April 10, 2007 10:16 AM

I gave up on my ipod the minute I couldn't get my music from my ipod to my new laptop.

It is cool to look at (I have the nano), but what a waste since it is so difficult to take music off of it and sync to a new computer.

I won't ever buy one again. Mine is sitting around rotting.

Philip Carter


Marketplace Software, LLC

Posted by: Philip Carter at April 12, 2007 08:53 PM

Mr. Carter,

As a president of a Software Co. I am surprised that you are unable to use an iPod. Kids are able to download music, photos etc from their iPods, it's that simple. Maybe it's your new notebook thats the problem, I guess it's not a Mac.

That has been the foundation of the iPod's success, it's simplicity of use. I believe that at least 50% are still in use if not more in some form or another. I know of many people that keep the old iPod's as external drives on the PC's or laptops, so even if the battery is dead they keep them powered up and useful. Some keep them in the car hooked up permanently and use the new one for the mobility needs.

Posted by: Quinton at April 16, 2007 10:51 PM

I bought my Dad an iPod Shuffle for X-Mas thinking he *might* use it on the train during his commute everyday. Within that time he's already invested in an iPod Nano (might I add a nicer one than mine), given my Mom his Shuffle and bought several more as gifts for his friends (not to mention the plethora of accessories he's also invested in). I always thought that iPods were enjoyed by a younger generation, judging by my Dad's reaction, I guess that's not really the case.

Posted by: CK at April 16, 2007 11:14 PM

Although I love my iPod Nano, just for its form factor, I understand Mr. Carter's frustration. The fact that Kids can do many wonderful things with their iPod's doesn't mean that there aren't some serious problems. The kids- believe it or not- are very good at drawing inside the box. And iTunes has created a very nice box. But once you try to do something that iTunes is not designed for- or, more likely, designed to prevent- you've got trouble. Using two laptops and one iPod, for example, which is what my wife and I tried to do (yes, you can do it but it's a hassle. I wanted to load CD's onto her iPod and do it faster with the 2 machines. And I wanted to sync the machines to the iPod. Smart, yes? But iTunes is designed with a 1:1 iPod/computer relationship. It always wants to sync both ways, to only 1 computer. So you have to shut off sync'ing, and upload your songs yourself. Dumb.)

Mr. Carter, do a Google search for Yamipod. Yes, it takes the Open Source community to do what the unholy Apple/Music Biz alliance doesn't want you to do. And don't listen to those who claim that if the kids can use it, so should you. As a 23-year computer professional (UNIX geek and so on), I can tell you this: It's not you. It's not your computer. It's iTunes.

-Mike Schwager

Posted by: Mike Schwager at April 17, 2007 03:05 PM

Thanks to Mr. Schwager for his reassuring comments. I no longer feel like a dunce now I know that a computer professional agrees that they may be troublesome. I upgraded my archaic Creative Zen Nomad to an iPod but I think I will stick to my brick once more. I find iPods frustrating to use on Windows. I think my new pod may well find a happy home to some unsuspecting ebayer...

Posted by: Liz P at April 24, 2007 12:52 PM

wait... Seriously... you can't figure out how to use an ipod? You're kidding right? After you make another fake post from a supposed "computer geek" about you really not being a moron, go ahead and sell your ipod on ebay, no wait a minute, it takes a brain to sell stuff on ebay, I guess just give it to an 8 year old, they love them and have no problem "figuring it out"

Posted by: bubba the love sponge at April 26, 2007 02:05 PM

Yup... Ipods make about as much sense as using a mac to try to run your business on a file maker pro home made database program when there are software's like mine that blow everything out the water.

I don't why it should surprise you that apple products do not make sense to a logical thinking man. The fun poked at people like me with those stupid apple commercials is ridiculous... I had an ibook and I used for the only thing it was good for, for me-- surfing the web without caring whether it got beat up by viruses. Apple products are toys, nothing more, nothing less.

Posted by: Philip Carter at April 28, 2007 03:14 AM

There are probably a lot of purchases, but that is only because they don't know what they are getting themselves into. I have the 80GB iPod and it has given me more trouble than music-time. Not to mention iTune is thrown into the picture to make things even worse. Basically everyone I know that has one cannot use it for what it is because it malfunctions. I myself handle it like if it's going to detonate any minute. It's frustrating. I have to say that A LOT do not use it... 'cause they can't.

Posted by: leslie at April 30, 2007 02:54 PM

Ipods, one more reason to spend too much time in front of a computer screen. You work in front of one, you read the news on it at home, and now you are telling me that even my music will depend on a computer ?

What a waste of time, money and energy, for a product that will soon stop working properly.

Posted by: Nick. L at May 4, 2007 03:18 AM

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