Apple Commands A Third Of Digital Audio, Study Shows
LONDON — With it's iPod and iPod Shuffle Apple is the leader in worldwide portable audio players with 30.2 percent of the combined HDD and Flash-based portable audio player market, according to market research company In-Stat.
And in 2005 one quarter of U.S. consumer survey respondents claim to have a digital audio player, up from 16 percent in 2001, Scottsdale Arizona-based In-Stat found.
The market for both hard disk drive and flash memory based portable audio players is expected to exceed 104 million units by 2009, up from 27.8 million units in 2004. Drivers for this booming market include falling prices, the availability of legitimate subscription and pay-per-download online music sites, smaller hard disk drives, and increasing flash memory capacities, In-Stat said.
"As competition heats up, vendors are striving to differentiate products by offering a wide range of price points, memory capacities, and features," said Stephanie Guza, In-Stat analyst, in a statement. "As a result, we are seeing increased segmentation. For example, the hard disk drive digital audio player segment can be sub-divided into two categories: the 1-inch or smaller segment and the 1.8-inch segment."
In-Stat said the revenue for both HDD and Flash-based MP3 players reached approximately $4.5 billion, an increase of almost 200 percent over 2003.
Besides Apple leading vendors include: Rio, iRiver and Creative.
In-Stat expects that 1-Gbyte capacity or greater flash MP3 players will represent just over 20 percent of all flash-based MP3 player shipments worldwide by the end of this year.
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