As Scott Kirsner noted in his blog today, Steve Jobs’ keynote at MacWorld focused almost exclusively on the Mac computer. Where was the iPod in the discussion? Before the expo began, many predicted a new version of the Shuffle. It did not materialize. Job sped through the latest iPod/iTunes benchmarks to get to the news on Mac computers.
Maybe there wasn’t a new Shuffle because Jobs and co. finally realized they are doing very well and they don’t have to push a new iPod every few months. Their numbers clearly indicate that the iPod’s appeal isn’t slowing down: a third of all iPods ever sold were bought in the last quarter (14 million of 42 million; 83% of the portable music market, says Jobs). And with iTunes selling 850 million songs since its launch, and 8 million videos since they began offering that in October, they are succeeding at content delivery. With new videos every month, (ESPN and Saturday Night Live being the latest) it seems like they won’t halt their progress in that arena either.
Though the many iPod product launches of 2005 smacked of desperation to stay on top, Apple’s numbers indicate simple success. They will continue to dominate digital music, and the emerging digital video market, and renew their focus on Mac computers. Apple is looking at a bright new year.