The iTunes Music Store is off to a strong start, and though it may be too early to tell how much it will boost Apple’s profits in the long run, Charles Wolf, an analyst at Needham and Co., likes the early signs, according to a Forbes article.
For example, in the previous quarter Apple sold 304,000 iPods, up from Street estimates of 75,000. Wolf estimates iPods could account for US$274 million in revenue in fiscal 2003 — or 5 percent of sales, Forbes reports. And, of course, the upcoming Windows version of the iTunes Music Store is expected to contribute significantly to the company’s bottom line.
The article mentions Apple’s digital music competitors such as BuyMusic.com, Real Networks’ Real One Rhapsody service, MP3.com’s Emusic service, and Roxio’s upcoming reincarnation of Napster. However, based on input from such firms as FT Interactive Data, Multex and Thomson First Call (via FactSet Research Systems), Forbes reports that Apple should see annualized long-term growth of 12 percent (projected over next three to five years) thanks in part to the iTunes Music Store and the sale of iPods.