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Thursday, August 10, 2006
Video iPod Jumpstarts Portable Media Player Market According to In-Stat

Even though Apple's video-capable iPod technically does not fit the definition of a "true" Portable Media Player (PMP), it has given the product class a boost

Today, consumers are more aware of portable video, additional PMP brands, and ways in which they can download video to handheld devices, the high-tech market research firm says. In-Stat estimates that the worldwide market for true, video-centric PMPs will grow to 5 million units by the end of 2006, up from a mere 390,000 just two years ago.

"Despite the fact that PMP shipments are finally gaining traction, suppliers and manufacturers continue to face challenges," says Stephanie Ethier, In-Stat analyst. "PMPs will continue to compete with other portable devices offering similar functionality, such as notebook computers, portable DVD players, handheld gaming products, and other mobile devices."

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

-- The video-enabled iPod has spurred a slew of video-capable portable MP3 players from competitors such as SanDisk, Creative, and Samsung. These products are not classified as "true" PMPs, but they have helped establish the market for portable video.

-- In a US-based survey of consumers, 75% of all respondents (n = 1,099) have some level of familiarity with PMPs.

-- Over the next year, In-Stat expects that improvements in video compression technology, download video content sites, and wireless communications will help drive the PMP market.

The research, "Portable Media Players: Shipment Growth to Gain Traction in 2006" (#IN0603157ID), covers the market for PMP devices. It also takes an in-depth look at existing video content sites, PMP manufacturers, and component suppliers. It includes the results of a US consumer survey about the use of, and knowledge of, PMP devices; and it provides five-year forecasts for worldwide PMP shipments and revenues, as well as average sales prices.

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