The rapidly growing worldwide market for Flash-based and Hard Disk Drive (HDD)-based players will jump from 140 million units in 2005 to 286 million by 2010, according to market research firm In-Stat.
Drivers for this market include falling price points, the availability of legitimate subscription and pay-per-download online music sites, increasing Flash memory capacities, and enhanced functionality, In-Stat said.
"Apple continues to dominate the market for MP3 players, particularly in the U.S.," said Stephanie Guza, In-Stat analyst. "Apple competitors continue to face significant challenges, such as a constrained Flash memory supply, device and software integration, and the 'cool factor' associated with Apple's iPod line of products."
Recent research by In-Stat found the following:
Consumer survey data shows 49 percent of MP3 player owners own an Apple iPod.
Sales of low-end, Flash-based players were especially strong in 2005, particularly in Asian markets where some players are priced as low as U.S. $25.
HDD-based models will continue to evolve into multimedia entertainment devices capable of audio, video, and imaging playback.
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