By Matthew Henry

CALIFORNIA: Apple has toppled bricks and mortar retail giant Wal-Mart as the largest music retailer in the USA with its online iTunes store, according to a survey.

The Cupertino California-based company issued a statement overnight claiming number one status for its iTunes store in the USA, supporting its claim with data from the market analyst NPD.

NPD’s MusicWatch survey captures unit sales and counts 12 downloads as a CD. Mobile music sales are excluded.

According to the survey, the iTunes Store became the largest music retailer in the US based on the amount of music sold during January and February 2008.

The company has not confirmed the margin by which it was number one, or whether it expects to hold the lead through March.

Apple claims to have over 50 million registered customers, who have together bought over four billion tracks from iTunes’ six-million-strong online music and video catalogue.

The US iTunes Store was launched five years ago and generates sales almost exclusively from iPod owners.
In February this year, Apple claimed over 140 million iPods had been sold worldwide to date.