Apple recently hinted at exciting developments in the digital music market.
While no new product announcements were disclosed during last night's financial results announcement, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said: "The iPod continued to earn a US market share of over 75 per cent and we are extremely excited about future iPod products in our pipeline."
Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer said: "Apple is investing heavily in iPod and iTunes engineering and is very enthusiastic about products in the pipeline."
Oppenheimer also dropped Apple's biggest suggestion yet that it has plans to deliver a hybrid mobile phone iPod, saying: "We don't think that the phones that are available today make the best music players. We think the iPod is. But over time, that is likely to change, and we are not sitting around doing nothing."
The company released statistics that showed iPod sales contributed $1.4bn (about £760m) in revenue to the company's $4.4bn (£2.4bn) revenue overall. That's a climb of 36 percent compared with the same quarter last year.
Apple's 'Other Music Products' category – a general gathering that includes iTunes sales, iPod accessories and other services (presumably including revenue under its 'Made for iPod' scheme) popped another $457m (£248m) into the company coffers. This statistic is one of the most impressive on the company's books, as it represents a 90 percent rise year on year.
Citing research data from NPD, GFK and BCN, Apple confirmed that the iPod accounts for 75 per cent of the US MP3 player market, and that it's the top-selling music player in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Spain, Italy and Japan.
iTunes – which now offers a US catalogue of three million songs, 9,000 music videos and 150 TV programmes – grabbed an impressive slice of 85 per cent of the pay-to-own digital music market, according to Nielsen SoundScan.