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Apple could see 1 billion iDevices sold by 2015, says analyst

Calculating the number of iTunes accounts projected over the next two years, analyst Horace Dediu believes Apple could hit that 1 billion threshold in device sales.

In just two years, Apple could become the McDonalds of the tech industry: 1 billion iOS devices sold.

At least, that's according to a rough forecast offered by Asymco analyst Horace Dediu.

Dediu kicked off his analysis with Apple's announcement last week that the number of registered iTunes accounts with 1-click purchasing has hit 435 million.

Apple is currently adding around 12 million new iTunes account each month, according to the analyst. And the rate of growth itself has continued to accelerate over time. Apple also revealed last week that it has sold around 400 million iOS devices over time, so the rise in iTunes accounts has almost echoed the rise in iDevices.

Stir in that accelerated growth rate for iTunes accounts over the next two years, and Dediu believes Apple could see 1 billion in cumulative sales for iOS devices by early 2015.

"Projecting the growth forward would imply one billion accounts in another two years," Dediu said. "As iPhone and iPad growth increasingly converges with iTunes (of which there are 400 million units sold), the same time frame could apply to iOS cumulative sales."

Or course, as Dediu himself admits, this is "not a very precise forecast."

Like most forecasts, it depends on a lot of "ifs." But it's certainly conceivable for the number of iOS devices to catch up with the number of iTunes accounts.

As Apple unveils more and different types of iDevices, loyal buyers are more tempted to add an iPad Mini or another new product to their current iPhone and/or iPad lineup. A fair number of individual buyers such as these may have only a single iTunes account.

One billion in iOS device sales in another two years? I'm not sure about that. It took five years to reach the current numbers of around 400,000. But with more iDevices now and on the horizon, Apple is not a company to be underestimated.