Enderle: Can Sony’s PSP eclipse Apple’s iPod?

“Sony is launching their portable video game player this week and the Million units initially slated for the US market have reportedly already sold out. This is a very similar event to the original offering of the Apple iPod suggesting that Sony may be about to yank the crown for the hottest consumer product away from Apple and make it their own,” Rob Enderle writes for Techonlogy Pundits. “Apple currently has the hot product with over 10M iPods sold in the last two years; however the potential for a Game system like the PSP is several times that in 2005 suggesting it could eclipse the iPod as the hot product this year if Sony can execute.

MacDailyNews Note: Estimates (from the likes of Credit Suisse First Boston and Goldman Sachs) for iPod units sold by Apple average about 5.75 million for this current quarter alone. Last quarter, Apple sold 4.58 million iPod units. So, while it’s perfectly correct to state that “Apple sold over 10M iPods in the last two years,” it really doesn’t explain the iPod’s explosive growth and the size of the mountain Sony must climb to eclipse Apple’s iPod. For the sake of clarity: by the end of this quarter, Apple will have sold well over 10 million iPods in 180 days.

“This last will be the problem because early reports indicate that some functions (pictures, music) are too difficult and others (movies) lack the media to make them compelling. Also Sony is clearly having production problems with only a fraction of the product on the market needed to meet demand they have had to delay the European launch of the product providing both Nintendo and Apple with much needed breathing room,” Enderle writes.

“This is a great game player, don’t buy it for features that don’t work well (music/photos), or that lack full support (movies) otherwise you are likely to be disappointed,” Endlere writes.

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Washington Post: Sony’s new PSP a ‘multimedia dud’ – no competition for Apple’s iPod – March 19, 2005
Does Sony’s new PlayStation Portable (PSP) threaten Apple’s iPod? – March 14, 2005


  1. yes that’s all fine and good but how buoyant is the PSP in the case of a flood? Will it become a dangerous projectile in case of an earthquake? That large screen could shatter and take out your kids’ eyes in a heartbeat. Sony just doesn’t get it

  2. This product is in a completely different (but slightly related) segment than the iPod. I bet if Sony made a beard trimmer that has a built-in radio, the media will be crying that it was the next iPod killer. Stop making comparisons when there really are none.

    Without a doubt, people are going to buy this thing by the millions, but those same people already have, or will buy an Apple branded MP3 player.

  3. The iPod doesn’t compete in this market. It is a portable music player not a gaming machine. DUH! The PSP can only store up to 1 gig of music that’s if you wanted to use the extra storage card for that purpose. But it still doesn’t compete with the iPod by any sense of the imagination.

  4. The PSP may outsell the iPod, but that’s a meaningless statistic, since most people won’t be using it to listen to music, anymore than most people use their PS2s as their primary DVD player. See how Sony’s music store sales do compared to iTMS — that’ll be the telling statistic.

  5. Different product. Very desireable. Very nice (I’ve tried one). I want one even though I’m not into gaming. (I’ll have to resist)

    It’s not competition to the iPod any more than the latest Nokia is competition to the iPod. It’s competition to Nintendo and Gizmodo.

  6. I have a PSP and the video capabilities are amazing at least for the UMD movie that comes with it. If it had a hardrive it would be a better option than the iPod. I own a iPod Photo (40GB) and it is great. I havent really test the music interface but there are a handfull of programs out there that interface the PSP with a Mac and one I have allows you to sync with iLife 05′ complete with iTunes management. So who knows. 249 is a lot for a game system, but not much for a portable media center. The viewing angle is impressive on the PSP and the system is sleek in design. I have not tested the battery life but everything else seems great. By the way the games are pretty awesome. Hopefully the Nintendo DS will be the main competition for the PSP and not the iPod.

  7. It’s stupid to compare iPod and PSP for anything other than raw product sales. Numbers are all that talks here, and it doesn’t matter much either way, PSP is a game machine, iPod is a music player. PSP will become the must-have gadget, but iPod will remain the queen of music players. Both Playstation and Playstation 2 were huge successes, PSP will be no exception, except this time, with it being portable, it competes in the portable media market due to it’s extra abilities, rather then solely the portable game market, previously dominated by the GameBoy.

    Anyways, to re-affirm my statement, I don’t see why anyone is comparing the two.

  8. The main drawback for the PSP IS SONY’s reliance on proprietary formats again. Overpriced Memory Sticks and the UMD for movies (lucky users get to pay twice for a movie if they want to play it on their PSP and DVD player at home. Unless they give it the ability to import (or export) other media files directly to or from a computer, it cannot be considered a competitor for the iPod.

    I realize that iTMS is proprietary, but you have alot of other options for getting content.

    The only real issue is that, even though it is a different product, most people have a finite budget for gadgets. Some money will be spent on PSPs that may have been spent on an iPod instead.

  9. For those unfamiliar with what mike k. is talking about, <a >this link</a> will show all the answers.

    Comparing the PSP to an iPod makes as much sense as comparing a boat to a car… sure, they are both transportation, and they both cost about the same amount for comparable features, but they both serve different primary functions. That these a$$clowns at the Enderle ‘group’ have any credibility just goes to show how low print journalism has sunk when they’re given any column inches!

  10. While the PSP doesn’t compete in the same market as the iPod, it will have some effect on the iPod sales, even if it isn’t that significant of an effect. In a perfect world, consumers would be able to purchase both the PSP and an Ipod. However, many people don’t have the amount of disposable income that would allow them to spend money on both. People are going to have to choose between the PSP and the iPod.

    Many parents have been buying their children iPods because that’s what the kids want. However, there is probably going to be a significant number of kids that would rather have a PSP instead. Parents can’t be picking up iPods and PSPs for all their kids, so once again a choice is going to have to be made.

    I’m willing to bet that this Christmas, many people are going to be asking for a PSP instead of an iPod. So the PSP is not going to be an iPod killer, but the iPod will be affected by the some of the millions of people that choose to buy a PSP instead of an iPod because of their budget.

  11. mike k.

    The perfect analysis!

    I am very glad I wasn’t drinking when I read your post, or the fluid would have passed through my nose (I hate when that happens).

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