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iTunes still growing faster than peers at 7 years old

updated 01:55 pm EDT, Fri June 10, 2011

iTunes still on track to hit 1b users in a few yea

A breakdown on Friday showed that iTunes was not only growing quickly even over seven years but faster than some longstanding platforms. At 225 million accounts, it was still growing at a logarithmic scale, Asymco saw. The Xbox 360, Windows Mobile, and Symbian had tapered off either at the same seven-year mark or earlier.

The continued rush was attributed to Apple's ability to juggle the transition of iTunes. Originally conceived as a music-only store built with the iPod in mind, it had moved it over to supporting not just apps and video but to focus on an entire unified mobile platform. Others were rendered obsolete in part because they didn't have a path to keep growing, such as Windows Mobile, or have been intentionally limited by the nature of the device.

Apple was theoretically on track to hit a billion accounts by the 10-year mark. However, its main challenge now was in reaching customers who didn't necessarily fit Apple's typical credit card-focused model. Many in Africa, India, and other regions or countries either couldn't afford or simply couldn't use a credit system to pay for music. iTunes has systems like PayPal but doesn't take direct payments or other methods that could skip the need for a Western bank account.

The desire to keep iTunes moving might be fueled by the computer-free setup in iOS 5. Many in key countries like China often don't have a home computer and might only ever see iTunes through an iOS portal.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Make that 8 years, not 7

    iTunes Music Store was launched (in the US) in 2003.

  1. aardman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wow. Just wow.

    I agree, and I expect a new spurt of accelerated growth to arise out of cutting the PC cord.

    I made the observation in '05 that iTunes is the secret sauce that will catapult Apple past Microsoft into the stratosphere. That's when I started accumulating AAPL.

  1. kimgh

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Surely, you meant EXPONENTIAL scale? Logarithmic growth is faster than no growth, but only just barely.
    Why people say "logarithmic" when they mean "exponential" I'll never understand.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    is it a meaningful statistic? Having a number of accounts doesn't mean much unless they're used to generate revenue. How many people set up a facebook account, for example, and then haven't used it in 2 years?

    Now, I wonder what is the percentage/number of active accounts. That would show a far different graph. For example, those little pink circles would be spiralling downward, I'm sure.

  1. jamck1977

    Joined: Dec 1969


    @ testudo

    Very good point. It's surprising how close the author of this article is to presenting something useful, yet how close the data presented is to being useless...

  1. pmccann

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Turning mathematics on its head...

    As per kimgh's comment: calling growth "logarithmic" because it shows as almost-linear when displayed on a log scale is just brain dead. It's the functional *inverse* of logarithmic! But "exponential" sounds so ordinary, and "logarithmic" sounds so *knowledgable*. Ah well...

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