Dear Silly Pundits…

MacNN quotes a report today that says Apple will meet or exceed its guideline for the fourth fiscal quarter.

Of particular note to the Macalope was this:

We anticipate continued strength in its Mac business (up 6 percent quarter over quarter) driven by MacBook and a rebound in its iPod business (up 5 percent quarter over quarter) helped by new Nanos and initial shipments of its new Shuffle.

So, can we cut the “slipping iPod sales” crap?

UPDATE:  Some math for you:

Assuming the report is correct, a 5% increase would mean Apple sold about 8,517,000 iPods in the fourth fiscal quarter, a 32% increase year-over-year.  iPod sales also showed a 32% increase year-over-year in the third fiscal quarter.  As the Macalope has said, iPod sales growth is leveling off.  Sales continue to increase.

  • dino:

    Things are looking good for Apple. Right now, all I want to hear though is market share increases for the Mac. I do believe that the last quarter showed Mac market share being stagnant. That’s actually a good sign, since they were right smack dab in the middle of the Intel transition, and people might have been waiting out for the new machines.

  • Well, the article did say “rebound” in iPod business. So I suspect not.

  • BarakTheCat:

    Don’t get suckered in by MacNN’s Apple Apologistic behavior. The iPod is a sinking business my friend. Best to get off the boat now.

  • TomB:

    “Don’t get suckered in by MacNN’s Apple Apologistic behavior. The iPod is a sinking business my friend. Best to get off the boat now.”

    Fine– let’s all sell YOU our shares at a low, low price so you can reap the run-up to $100– and beyond.

  • Barak left a .Mac email address so the Macalope suspects he was being sarcastic.

  • Gary Patterson:

    There was a journalist who published an article decrying the iPod sales fall by looking at quarter to quarter performance, not year on year performance (which is how every mature retail business reviews its numbers).

    After a massively huge Christmas season last year (something like 14M iPods, nearly double the previous highest) it’s hard to top that in Q1. When I and others pointed that out in an ArsTechnica journal thread, he popped up claiming this still represents a real fall in iPod sales, and backed it up by saying Apple’s CFO stated as much. We couldn’t seem to get him to understand that Q4 is supposed to be followed by a lower Q1 in retail – that’s the holiday season.

    The real story was the Q1 to Q2 drop this year, but even there we could clearly see a jump in year on year sales. In the end, we had to agree to disagree, but I’m not so sure I really agreed to that. This guy doesn’t see iPod sales as suffering any kind of seasonal trends, and I do. Of course, the sales numbers back me up, but that’s not a sensational story.

  • Apparently anyone who reports on the iPod has to report that it is being killed by something. Whether it is the Zune, CD’s, The return of the Eight Track Tape, or hurricanes and other natural disasters it seems that the techworld wants the iPod to die. Even some Mac Users seem to want it to die as they seem tired of having their valuable Apple website share time between the Mac and the iPod.

    That being said, there has to be some leveling of the iPod market. I am sure a similar thing happened with the Sony Walkman once it reached saturation. But even as I have two iPods myself, I want a new nano just because it looks cool.

  • Phantom Patriot:

    Yeah, the Walkman did eventually level out in popularity as the competition became more mature and it was less of a status symbol. And then no one ever bought a Walkman again ever and Sony went under … Oh wait, that didn’t happen.
    I think we all know that the iPod won’t have such a huge majority of the digital music player market forever, but to automatically assume that it’s doomed because the competition might heat up is totally absurd.

  • Mitch:

    I totally agree. This happens in lots of markets. As products become more “normal”, other (cheeper) alternatives gain some marketshare. But I would say more often than not the original innovators will last for a long time. This is provided they keep up the quality of their product. As long as Apple keeps making some of the best players out there, they won’t easily be overtaken by another.

    I think Sony’s Walkman is a nice example. They started portable cassette players, faced massive competition but kept the image of being the leader in that field because a) they invented it b) they kept putting out new products and c) the quality (at least perceived by the public) was still better than the cheeper alternatives.

  • the valrus:

    To put it another way, the derivative of sales per month is leveling off. 😉

  • Daniel Axelrod:

    Yay calculus. (Dangit, The Valrus beat me to it!)

    To be fair, Jobs is kinda guilty of doing the same thing in reverse. I remember at least one keynote where he had a graph that looked at the *total* number of iPods sold by month. Which meant the total installed base of iPods, not taking into account people who weren’t using their iPods anymore. In other words, the integral of the number of iPods sold each month.

    Be very, very careful when anybody tries to convince you of anything with numbers or graphs until you know *how* they were generated.

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