IDC: 16GB flash-based portable music players by late 2007, 124 million units to ship in 2009

According to IDC, the portable compressed audio (MP3) player market continues to surge, led by the portable flash player category which is expected to grow from 26.4 million units shipped worldwide in 2004 to nearly 124 million units in 2009. Growth in the portable flash player category is expected to be fueled by falling flash memory costs, vendor adoption of flash for multiple device storage capacities at competitive retail price points, availability of paid online media services, and growing consumer awareness of and demand for portable MP3 players. However, music-enabled mobile phones are expected to inhibit the portable MP3 player market somewhat during the forecast period and the extent of this trend will vary by world region.

IDC segments the compressed audio player market into four major categories: portable, home and automotive audio-focused devices, and a fourth “other” category of devices that support compressed audio as a secondary feature (such as DVD players, mobile phones, and gaming devices). These categories are developing at different rates with distinct market forces influencing each one. The ‘other’ category, which includes devices that are competitive substitutes for audio-only portable, home and automotive players, will lead the compressed audio player market throughout and beyond the forecast period, and worldwide is expected to exceed 700 million units shipped and $114 billion in revenue in 2009.

“Demand for portable MP3 players is booming, as more and more consumers get acquainted with their stylish form factors and digital audio functionality”, said Susan Kevorkian, program manager, Consumer Markets: Audio at IDC. “In addition, DVD players, mobile phones and gaming devices that play back compressed audio will be key drivers of the compressed audio player market during the forecast period.”

Key forecast findings include:

The maximum portable flash player capacity is expected to increase from 1GB in 2004 to reach 8GB in 2006 and 16GB by late 2007.
Video support for music video playback is expected to drive demand for portable flash players and hard drive-based portable jukeboxes. This feature is expected to be complemented by music video downloads from paid online media services.

The market for hard drive-based portable jukeboxes is expected to grow at a worldwide compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.5% during the forecast period. IDC expects this market to be inhibited by the availability of high-capacity portable flash players and average selling prices (ASPs) in excess of $200 throughout the forecast period.

Worldwide total units and revenue for all four segments of the compressed audio player market are expected to reach 945.5 million and $145.4 billion respectively by 2009.

The IDC study, Worldwide and U.S. Compressed Audio Player 2005-2009 Forecast and Analysis: MP3 All Over The Place (IDC #33932) analyzes, forecasts, draws conclusions, and makes recommendations for the four major categories of the compressed audio player market. Each category is further segmented based on storage media. The study considers recent IDC audio survey research, as well as the expertise of IDC analysts from a number of programs related to the compressed audio player market.

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Related articles:
Thank Apple for dramatically falling flash memory prices – October 03, 2005
Apple corners flash memory market with iPod nano – September 29, 2005
Apple iPod nano 32GB possible in second half 2006? Samsung unveils new flash memory NAND chips – September 12, 2005
Apple stomps competitors in flash-based MP3 player market – September 02, 2005
Analyst expects 3-6 million 4GB flash-based Apple iPod mini units to ship in second half 2005 – August 25, 2005


  1. izod just cause they exist doesn’t mean they can sell it to the consumer in large quantities at reasonable prices.

    Super compters exist, but it’s not liek a normal consumer could afford them

  2. it’s 16 Gb chips that are available.

    GB= gigabytes
    Gb= gigabits

    since there are 8 bits to a byte, a 16 gigabit chip would be the equivalent to 2 gigabytes.

    I’m old enough to remember when they taught this sort of stuff in computer classes, because there wasn’t much else to talk about… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”cool smile” style=”border:0;” />

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