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Worldwide iPod Storage Total

posted at 6:55 pm
on May. 3, 2005

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I was reading this Computerworld article about a dentist who uses an iPod to back up his patient data, and starting thinking…

Everywhere I walked in New York, I saw white earbuds in people’s ears.  Subway crime in New York would be down slightly this year, except for the rise in theft of iPods, which pushes the stats up 10%.

Apple shipped 5,310,000 million iPods in the first quarter of 2005, up 558% from last year.  Yes, that’s right, more than 500% higher than last year.

Around Christmas, they sold 4.5 million iPod music players, up 525% from last year’s holiday season.

That compares to 5.7 million iPods in total up to 4th quarter of 2004.

So in total, there’s now 15 million iPods sold.

I have a first generation iPod. It holds 5 gigs of data, and I still use it regularly.  I had to replace the battery last year, but it still trucks along.  It’s safe to assume that most of the iPods sold are still in use.

So, I’ve put together a quick estimate, and I figure there’s about 229 petabytes—229,000,000 gigabytes—of storage space floating around on iPods.  That’s pretty amazing.

But what’s most amazing, is that there were 300 million Sony Walkmans sold during the 80s-90s.  Even ignoring the increase in storage size that will happen in the next 10 years, if iPods catch on like Walkmans, we’re talking 4.44 exabytes—4,438,000,000 GB—of data storage on iPods.

As my math teacher used to say, “This begins to get interesting, no?”

Here’s my (admittedly rough and estimated) chart:

ipods sold
5,310,000 ipods soldJan-05
4,500,000 ipods soldOct-04
5,700,000 ipods soldPre Oct 2004
15,510,000 Total ipods sold
storage space number sold Total storage
0.512ipod shuffle 1,500,000 768,000 GB
1ipod shuffle 1,500,000 1,500,000 GB
4ipod mini 1,000,000 4,000,000 GB
6ipod mini 300,000 1,800,000 GB
5ipod gen1 400,000 2,000,000 GB
10ipod 3,000,000 30,000,000 GB
15ipod 2,000,000 30,000,000 GB
20ipod 4,000,000 80,000,000 GB
40ipod 710,000 28,400,000 GB
30ipod photo 500,000 15,000,000 GB
60ipod photo 600,000 36,000,000 GB
total ipods 15,510,000 229,468,000
300,000,000 4,438,452,611



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Aimee Has an Adventure

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More Aimee Hijinks


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