Occasionally I go against my own advice and click on a link whose title ends in a question mark. Trust me, you should never do that.
In this case it was a GigaOM article entitled “iPhone’s sanity check, iPods missing a beat?”
Since Apple just released their 3Q numbers, and we know they sold 9.81M iPods last quarter, the only sanity we should check is that of anyone asking if iPods are missing a beat.
The article states:
“In first 1.25 days Apple sold around 270,000 iPhone, which is pretty impressive for a device that starts at $500. But it might be having an unintended impact on the sales of iPods, especially the more expensive video iPods.”
Is this just something yanked from the rectum, maybe with the help of a flashlight? It makes little sense anyway, because if you want a high-end iPod the iPhone is not a valid substitute. People want a high-end as much for storage as anything. The iPhone is weak by those standards.
After going through an explanation about how the great iPhone 30-hour sales figure (270,000) is somehow disappointing to Wall Street, it then continues:
“Apart from the iPhone, looks like the iPod sales were down sequentially – something that could be explained by buyer interest in the iPhone.”
From 10.5M to 9.81M is “down,” I’ll grant you that. But we’re talking about a line whose mid- and low-end units haven’t been touched in nine months, and whose high-end model has been substantially untouched for nearly two years. Further, the iPod had no “buzz” all quarter long since it was all iPhone, all the time (with a brief time-out for the laptop line refresh). And yet it still sold 9.81 million units! Don’t just look at how many sold, you must also look at the circumstances under which they sold.
The article wraps up with this:
“Interestingly, the iPod sales declined by about $130 million. In 30 hours or so, Apple got $148.5 million from 270,000 iPhones (assuming $550 median price.) Could this mean that iPhone is cannibalizing the high-end iPod sales?”
So you can compare dollar values to determine cannibalization? How in the heck does strong three-month sales of an unrefreshed iPod line somehow get cannibalized by an initial 30-hour surge of iPhone sales?
It remains to be seen if any cannibalization will occur, but I suspect if it does it will be more from the nano than the high-end model. And, if someone was going to buy a nano but gets an iPhone instead, I think that’s a win for Apple. It’s a trade-up Apple will take any day.