Nearly 3% of America became iPod converts over the holiday

With 40% of last quarter's iPod sales going to first-time buyers, Apple managed to convert a sizeable segment of the entire United States into white earbud wearers.

In analyst David Bailey's research notes to Goldman Sachs investment bank, he noted that of the Q1 2008 sales of Apple's iPod, 40 percent were to first-time buyers.

While the figure was meant to illustrate that media players have a long time before reaching saturation in the American market, it gave a good idea of how big an impact the device still has on the populace.

In the company's earnings call for the quarter, Apple's Chief Operating Officer Timothy D. Cook said the iPod Touch could have actually contributed more to overall iPod sales if it wasn't introduced as a high-end device, but the goal for the year was more to establish it as a platform. Sales of the Touch are expected to pick up speed.

Achieving a 17% year-over-year increase in revenue, 22.1 million iPods sold during the quarter, which closed at the end of the year.

Weighed against the approximate US Population of 303 million (source: US Census Bureau), that is the equivalent of seven percent of America buying an iPod last quarter. With 40% of sales being new customers, that amounts to nearly three percent of the entire population of the U.S. purchasing one of Apple's media players for the first time.

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