Market analysis firm Jupiter Research has issued a new report, “U.S. Portable Music Device Forecast, 2006 to 2011,” which forecasts that while growth rates for dedicated portable MP3 and music players will slow dramatically in come years, the user base will nonetheless increase from some 37 million users in 2006 to over 100 million in 2007. Reasons for the growth include the market moving beyond technologically-savvy early adopters, and users upgrading existing player or purchasing multiple devices.
The report also finds that Apple faces no immediate threats to its dominance of the portable music player marketplace, even with Microsoft’s Zune handheld media players scheduled to hit stores shortly. “Apple shows no signs of losing momentum, having conditioned customers to expect and adopt regular upgrades, as well as defined targeted use cases with optimized functionality,” said Michael Gartenberg, JupiterResearch’s VP and Research Director. “Despite the coming of Zune, the return of closed-loop digital music service-device combinations, and music phones on the horizon, the iPod should not lose significant market share in the next 12 to 18 months.”
JupiterResearch also forecasts that while actual usage of music-capable phones is still dawning in the U.S., the installed base of music-capable mobile phones will exceed the number of dedicated music players beginning in 2009.
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