“Perhaps the biggest threat to Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod and the portable music player industry is a device already nestling in a billion pockets: the mobile phone. Sales of cellphones that can store and play back music are climbing, raising hopes among handset producers like Sony Ericsson and Motorola Inc. that it will be their next growth driver. Music phones may never kill off the market for the stand-alone music players of Apple, Sony, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Reigncom Ltd. and others, but they could dent the market’s potential,” Nathan Layne reports for Reuters.
“Apple controls 55 percent of the global MP3 player market and has a 70 percent U.S. market share. It also reaps profits from the millions of songs sold through its iTunes online music store,” Layne reports. “But its battle with the cellphone threat continues. Motorola launched handsets late last year that play digital music files supplied by Apple’s iTunes, but a low storage capacity and bulky design have cramped sales.”
MacDailyNews Note: The newest Motorola iTunes phone, the SLVR, isn’t bulky (it’s thinner than the RAZR), but still suffers from the artificial 100-song limit.
Layne continues, “Still, Apple has a powerful market share weapon in its more advanced video iPod’s and is by no means sitting on its hands. And Kirk Yang, a managing director and technology analyst at Citigroup’s Asia Pacific operations, reckons Apple will likely come out with an iPod that can double as a cellphone later this year to counter the music phone offensive. ‘The iPod with phone functionality is going to be a category killer,’ Yang said at the Summit in Hong Kong.”
Full article here.
[Attribution: Macworld UK]
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