In-Stat has just released a report that has some pretty staggering data in it. In 2004, the portable audio market saw about 27.8 million players sold, and that number is supposed to be around 104 million units by 2009, that’s a growth rate that exceeds 300% percent in only 5 years.
There are a couple factors that are helping to push this market. Of course falling prices always help, but pay-per-download and subscription music services are also helping to drive this market. Revenue for both hard drive and flash based MP3 players topped $4.5 billion last year, with Apple leading the pack controlling more than 30% market share.
“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. “As a result, we are seeing increased segmentation. For example, the hard disk drive (HDD) digital audio player segment can be subdivided into two categories: the 1-inch or smaller segment and the 1.8-inch segment.”
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