As competition heats up in the mobile phone space from companies like Google and Motorola, a new study points to Apple’s iPod touch as the company’s secret weapon. Calling the iPod touch “Apple’s Weapon of Mass Consumption,” market research firm Flurry says that it estimates 40 percent of the 58 million iPhone OS devices worldwide are iPod touches. In fact, Flurry says it is the iPod touch that is protecting the iPhone’s flank from the competition.
Flurry also says that the iPod touch has more long term strategic value for Apple that the iPhone. They use the old argument of getting people hooked young and keeping them for life. That’s a strategy that every company would like to be able to use with its products, but in this case, Apple could use it successfully.
“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,” according to the report. “This translates into loyalty and switching costs, allowing Apple to seamlessly ‘graduate’ young users from the iPod Touch to the iPhone.”