Apple’s iPod first launched in 2001, some six years ahead of the first-generation iPhone. Despite this head start, however, the total cumulative number of iPhone sales is set to surpass that of iPod sales this financial quarter, according to analyst Benedict Evans.

He revealed the interesting observation in a Twitter update, which reads:

Of course, as far back as 2011 analysts were predicting “the end of the iPod,” as sales figures for the portable music player have been on a steady decline for some years.

Apple’s iPhone handsets, which offer users the same functionality as the iPod touch along with a more attractive smartphone feature set, have naturally “canniablized” sales of the music player, as has the increase in the smartphone market most generally.

Instead of buying a fully-featured music player, more consumers are digging deeper and purchasing a smartphone: a product that can do everything Apple’s high-end iPods can, and more. With an iPhone in one’s pocket, most of us (myself included) see no reason to spend the additional cash on a dedicated music iDevice, and naturally iPod sales fall as a result.

As noted above, it’s expected that the iPhone will overtake the iPod this quarter. If not, it’ll absolutely happen in the fourth financial quarter, 2013.

We’ll let you know if we hear anything further.

In the meantime, see: Tumblr Issues Security Update To Official iOS App, Urges Users To Change PasswordsBigger And Better: Google Maps 2.0 Brings iPad Support, Explore Section And More, and Today’s Best Apps: Flyro, Roller Blitz, Sumlines And Chexi.