“After clothes, money and a car, an iPod is what U.S. teenagers want most this holiday season. A survey of 600 high school students by Piper Jaffray & Co. analyst Gene Munster found Apple Computer Inc.’s digital player No. 4 on their wish list. And the iPod wasn’t even among the items Munster suggested — the kids wrote it in,’ Bloomberg reports.
“‘It was really surprising,’ said Munster in an interview from his office in Minneapolis. ‘They didn’t say music player. They said iPod. Teens want to be cool, they want their music, and the iPod is a cool way for them to get their music.’ Demand for the iPod, unveiled by Chief Executive Steve Jobs in October 2001, has helped make Apple the third-best performing stock in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index this year,” Bloomberg reports. “‘Style matters, simplicity matters, experience matters,’ Munster said. ‘That’s what Apple sells, and that’s what they’re doing different from everyone else.'”
Bloomberg reports., “The iPod had an 82 percent share of the market in U.S. retail stores in the 12 months ended in August, up from 64 percent in the same period a year earlier, and 33 percent two years ago, according to Port Washington, New York-based NPD Group Inc. Sales of players that use computer hard disks as storage, like the iPod, will increase almost fivefold to 10.4 million units this year from 2.1 million in 2003, according to In- Stat/MDR, a market researcher based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Devices that play MP3 digital music files will surge to 52.4 million units by 2007, up from about 18 million this year, In- Stat/MDR said.”
“Investors are betting that customers who bought an iPod, which range in price from $249 for the mini to $399 for a 40- gigabyte version, might also be more willing to spend $1,299 or more on the company’s latest iMac,” Bloomberg reports. “The iPod’s ‘halo effect’ will drive holiday sales of the iMac, Milunovich said. He estimates the company will ship 270,000 iMacs in the fiscal first quarter, a 19 percent jump from last year. ‘You get evangelists for Apple and the Macintosh growing,’ said Munster, whose enthusiasm for his own iPod led him to buy his first Apple PC two years ago. ‘All their core products get a tailwind for the next two years because the iPod is the avenue for customers to go to Apple stores and see other Apple products.'”
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