According to research firm IDC, the MP3 player market continues to surge, led by the portable flash player category, which is expected to grow from 26.4 million units shipped worldwide in 2004 to nearly 124 million units in 2009.
Growth in the portable flash player category is expected to be fueled by falling flash memory costs, vendor adoption of flash for multiple device storage capacities at competitive retail price points, availability of paid online media services, and growing consumer awareness of and demand for portable MP3 players. However, music-enabled mobile phones are expected to inhibit the portable MP3 player market somewhat during the forecast period and the extent of this trend will vary by world region.
"Demand for portable MP3 players is booming, as more and more consumers get acquainted with their stylish form factors and digital audio functionality," said Susan Kevorkian, program manager, Consumer Markets: Audio at IDC. "In addition, DVD players, mobile phones and gaming devices that play back compressed audio will be key drivers of the compressed audio player market during the forecast period."
Key forecast findings include:
The maximum portable flash player capacity is expected to increase from 1 GB in 2004 to 8 GB in 2006 and 16 GB by late 2007.
Video support for music video playback is expected to drive demand for portable flash players and hard drive-based portable jukeboxes. This feature is expected to be complemented by music video downloads from paid online media services.
The market for hard drive-based portable jukeboxes is expected to grow at a worldwide compound annual growth rate of 21.5 percent during the forecast period. IDC expects this market to be inhibited by the availability of high-capacity portable flash players and average selling prices in excess of U.S. $200 throughout the forecast period.
Worldwide total units and revenue for all four segments of the compressed audio player market are expected to reach $945.5 million and $145.4 billion respectively by 2009.
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