“Apple Computer’s iPods dominated holiday sales of MP3 players, increasing their market share from last year, according to preliminary data from research firm NPD Group,” Troy Wolverton reports for The San Jose Mercury News.

“In the five-week period from Nov. 19 to Dec. 23, iPods accounted for 57.3 percent of all players sold at a panel of electronics stores that notably didn’t include the Cupertino company’s own retail outlets. Apple’s share was up from 42 percent for a similar period last year,” Wolverton reports.

MP3 player market share, Nov. 19 to Dec. 23:
(Rank: Company/Product – Market Share)
1. Apple iPod – 57.3%
2. SanDisk 19.2% (down from 22.1 percent last year)
3. Creative Technology – 3.4%
4. Microsoft Zune – 2.8%

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]
Regarding the actual market share numbers for iPod, NPD does not report sales from Apple Retail Stores, the Apple Store online, Wal-Mart, or Amazon.com among others, which, as you might imagine, are huge. Add those retail outlets sales into the mix and one could reasonably assume that Apple’s iPod share is actually quite a bit larger and the also-rans’ shares lower than shown above. Due to limited reporting, the actual NPD market share numbers aren’t nearly as important as the trends they show; Apple’s iPod share as measured by NPD is up 36.4% year-over-year.

One question: Will Zune astroturf sites collectively declining to renew their domain name registrations make a sound, any sound at all?

Related articles:
Apple iPod tops Amazon’s 2006 consumer electronics sales lists – December 28, 2006
Apple iTunes visits skyrocket 413% on Christmas Day – December 27, 2006