Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone probably had a good Christmas — we’re seeing them everywhere. But its iPod touch — which it’s marketing as a gaming device — seems to be on fire.
We’re not the only ones who saw a big spike in traffic on Christmas Day from iPod touch users: Web metrics service Net Applications says the iPod touch’s Web browser market share soared on Christmas day to 0.21%, up fourfold from its mid-December share around 0.05%. It’s staying up since then, too — 0.16% on Dec. 26, 27, and 28. (See chart below, via MacRumors.)
(Update: Net Applications says these stats obtained by MacRumors are “preview data” not approved by their quality assurance team. Specifically, they’re not sure if they include all of the ways an “iPod might identify itself” while browsing the Web, nor have they checked for any click fraud associated with it. We’ve written a new post with their officially-audited iPhone usage stats showing a 36% week-over-week increase in iPhone browser share during Christmas week.)
Meanwhile, we got 2.66% of our visits from iPod touch users yesterday, up from 2.00% on Christmas Day and a 0.32% average from Dec. 1-24, according to Google (GOOG) analytics.
How about the iPhone? Net Applications says its browser share peaked at 0.69% on Dec. 25, up from 0.36% to 0.52% in mid-December. We’re seeing 3.65% of our visits come from iPhone users since Christmas, up from 1.53% average from Dec. 1-24.
There’s no real way to translate browser share to unit shipments or revenue, but the iPod touch growth is consistent with other evidence we’ve seen: Repeated backorders at Amazon (AMZN), where the now-in-stock iPod touch is the no. 1, 2, and 5 best-selling MP3 player today, and an anecdotal report of brisk iPod touch sales by a super-connected Apple blogger.
We think the iPod touch line has huge potential for Apple. Specifically, we think Apple should introduce a second, larger version — the iPod touch HD — sometime this year for $500-$600. We think it’d be a big hit and would compete very well against the cheap, small “netbook” laptops that PC makers like Dell (DELL) and HP (HPQ) are selling.
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