Apple iTunes sales not plummeting after all?

On the heels of Forrester’s report about the collapse of digital music sales come responses both from Apple and another research firm. Apple indicated that the report was “simply incorrect”. Without revealing any financial data, it indicated that iTunes had made a profit in July, August and September.

Meanwhile, Piper Jaffray reported that its own findings show “strong year-over-year growth in 2005 and 2006”. Using two years of iTunes store data, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster indicated that there is a spike in January activity, likely due to all the new iPods and gift cards people found under the Christmas tree. Later in the year, the sales rates seem to slow down. Despite that slowdown, a comparison of the January to September period in 2005 and 2006 shows that total sales increased 78 percent.

In the end, without actual iTunes financial results, it will be difficult to really know how well or how badly iTunes is really doing.

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