The secret to Apple iPod touch's success: kids

New data on the popularity of the iPod Touch suggests the device is a gateway gadget to the iPhone

Apple's get-'em-while-they're-young strategy appears to be paying off. The iPod touch, which some tech analysts are calling an iPhone on training wheels, has proven wildly popular with gift-givers this holiday season.

Amazon's list of Bestsellers in Electronics currently has the iPod touch 8GB (3rd generation, the newest model) in second place behind the Kindle e-reader. Third place? The 32-gig iPod touch.

Meanwhile, San Francisco-based research firm Flurry is reporting that iPod touch downloads soared on Christmas Day. "It appears that an influx of new iPod Touch devices has flooded the market over Christmas, and that users of the handset, primarily pre-teen and teen audiences, are voracious downloaders," the report states.

Flurry's stats illustrate the iPod touch's explosive popularity:

  • For the first time, app downloads on the iPod Touch soared past iPhone downloads--and by a whopping 172 percent.
  • Total iPod touch downloads (all generations) rose by over 1000 percent on Christmas Day.
  • iPod touch 3G downloads jumped by more than 900 percent on Christmas Day, as compared to the average of all previous Fridays in December.

Flurry tracks over 10 percent of App Store download volume via an embedded mobile analytics app. "We can see downloads and application usage by consumers in real-time," writes Peter Farago, Flurry VP of marketing, in an email to PC World. "Since developers integrate our solution into their games and apps, we can detect specific devices, etc. This is how we can measure iPhone vs. iPod Touch downloads."

Does this mean the iPod touch a cornerstone of Apple's strategy to indoctrinate the next generation of iPhone users? It appears so. Flurry's November report on the smartphone market says it best:

"...Apple is using the iPod Touch to build loyalty with pre-teens and teens, even before they have their own phones (think: McDonalds' Happy Meal marketing strategy). When today's young iPod Touch users age by five years, they will already have iTunes accounts, saved personal contacts to their iPod Touch devices, purchased hundreds of apps and songs, and mastered the iPhone OS user interface. This translates into loyalty and switching costs, allowing Apple to seamlessly 'graduate' young users from the iPod Touch to the iPhone."

Speaking as a parent who just bought his 12-year-old son an iPod touch for Christmas, I'd have to say that Apple's brainwashing is working brilliantly. My kid now has an iPod touch, as do many of his friends. At a Christmas party, I spotted other pre-teens playing with their brand-new iPod touches too. The biggest draw: App Store games and other downloadable fodder.

As for their parents, they were thrilled the touch didn't require a pricey monthly contract, unlike the iPhone.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags ipod touch

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeff Bertolucci

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?