Report: Apple iPod holds 92.1 percent of hard drive-based music player market

“Despite increasing competition, Apple’s iPod still rules the digital-music world, according to new reports from market researchers,” David Becker reports for CNET News.

“Research company The NPD Group said in a report released Tuesday that various versions of the iPod accounted for 92.1 percent of the market for hard drive-based music players, up from 82.2 percent a year ago. Players from Creative Technology and Digital Networks North America’s Rio were a distant second and third, with 3.7 percent and 3.2 percent of the market, respectively,” Becker reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A few more quarters of this type of performance, folks, and it’ll be game, set, match; Microsoft and all of the WMA-based music stores be damned. And this success could lead to possibilities that most of the tech world still cannot imagine. Think a major Wintel box assembler and Mac OS X don’t mix? Think different. And we’re not necessarily talking Mac OS X on x86, either. You heard it here first.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple: in online music ‘there is a lot of customer choice, it’s just that Microsoft doesn’t like the choices customers are making’ – October 12, 2004
iPod success opens door to Mac OS X on Intel – March 04, 2004


  1. “Think a major Wintel box assembler and Mac OS X don’t mix? Think different. And we’re not necessarily talking Mac OS X on x86, either. You heard it here first.”

    Ummm, I don’t get it. What exactly did we hear?

  2. Apple licenses Mac OS X to HP. HP makes the “Apple Mac by HP.” HP makes a boatload of money, as they are with the “Apple iPod by HP.” HP takes out Dell as the number one personal computer maker, by selling both operating systems. Bill Gates and Michael Dell come to blows, end up killing each other. Ballmer’s head pops straight off his bloated body. Rob Glaser chokes on a Krispy Kreme. Kim Komando’s stupid radio show goes dark. Enderle, Thurrott, and Dvorak join the circus. Best Buy and Circuit City CEOs crawl to Cupertino begging Steve Jobs for mercy…

  3. It would seem that all WMA digital players are vying among themselves for a distant second to the iPod in market share. These devices may have to qualify their meager accomplishments by restricting comparisons among other WMA capable digital players. Direct comparisons to the iPod would only highlight their poor consumer appeal.

  4. I think they were referring to clones.

    I think that if Apple were to do cloning with a major WinTel box assembler, it would be HP. Dell and Gateway are not good enough, and the CEOs of Apple and Sony don’t appear to meet eye to eye.

  5. Anonymous:

    One thing that might also occur with Apple licensing OS X to HP is that Apple divorces itself from making Macs altogether and relegates computer design and manufacture to HP.

    Apple would focus entirely on design and development of operating systems as well as iPods and other handheld consumer products for audio and video.

    I hope not.

  6. Return of the Mac clones wouldn’t be unthinkable…

    Apple has a bigger software library than it did years ago and could profit well from software licensing.

    But all in all, I do not want Apple to drop their hardware business.

  7. meat of moose..


    This is what Cringely was talking about.. Apple focsing on Digital Media Technology and licensing the Mac OS X to hardware makers…

    what they should have done AGES ago…

  8. MDN did say “Think a major Wintel box assembler and Mac OS X don’t mix? Think different. And we’re not necessarily talking Mac OS X on x86, either.”

    To me the ONLY major Wintel box assembler, that has the possiblilty of providing a NON-x86 platform is IBM! (Think PowerPC peoples!)

    What sweet sweet victory it would be for Apple and IBM to partner and bury Microsoft, the company that swindled/stole and manipulated them out of their market leading positions.

    IBM are left to sell OS X to corporate users that don’t want/need Apples design brilliance for their 20,000 user base. IBM also do manufacture a GOOD QUALITY wintel product – IBM Thinkpads are nice wintel laptops, I mean if you have to use Wintel.

    I know IBM were the bad guys back in 84 etc, but they have made a major shift in their approach since then. Their focus is now really in services (and chip design, applied research etc), and their hardware business is really to support the services business. IBM have also already shown a commitment to pushing Linux in the corporate space, moving to OS X isn’t that much of a stretch from there (and they can still offer Linux for those that want it)

    And Apple is left to do what it continues to do best – design, develop and produce the best computing experience for the PC user.

    This arrangemnet woudl also mean that Apple and IBM can continue to ensure the end to end design advantage of the Mac architecture continues – ie “It just works” – only because all components etc are designed and certified by Apple

    My thoughts only – would love to hear alternatives (other than OS X on Intel – I don’t see the benefit in the long term, as I see all the compatibility issues etc that plague wintel being introduced into the mac environment once every Michael, Stan and Carly can start making them)

  9. IBM offering OS X based computers? I don’t think so. They are really only a bit player in consumer desktops and laptops now. Also, anyone notice that when the G5 chip was first introed on the PowerMac, the IBM logo was prominately displayed in advertisements. No more.

  10. If Apple licenses its OS to other computer manufacturers can Apple keep the marriage of Mac hardware and Apple OS intact, and maintain profitability for the Mac?

    If Apple licenses its OS to other computer manufacturers should Apple keep the marriage of Mac hardware and Apple OS intact?

    Would the Apple OS for PC�s be identical in all respects regarding the user interface for the OS for Macs?

    Would the Apple OS for PC�s be exclusively Unix-based?

    Should Apple deviate at all from Unix-based OS development?

    Should Apple maintain exclusive research and development allegiances with both IBM and Freescale regarding single- and dual-core processors?

    Should Apple deviate at all from OS development based upon PowerPC designs from IBM and Freescale by considering single- and dual-core processors from AMD and Intel?

  11. well… the only problem is IBM’s market share blows… the ideal situation would be porting Mac OS X on X486.. cuz then HP and.. er.. *cough.. Sony can play along.. and MS will have COMPETITION..

    To be honest though.. it would suck for developers.. especially if it came down to a 60% share for Win and a 30% share for mac.. i mean.. now they have to produce two different versions! which means price of software will go up…

    then again.. no office for windows in a ‘monopoly? no problem!’ world

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.