“Just how do you translate ‘iPod’ into Chinese or Hindi? That may be the question that Apple Computer is pondering as it looks to expand sales of its popular digital music player. Its position in the U.S. dominant, but that means iPod sales growth is tied to the growth of the market here,” Troy Wolverton writes for TheStreet.com. “Outside the U.S., though, the company owns just a small portion of the game. With the growth of that market expected to outpace the domestic arena, Apple could continue to post outsized sales growth for years to come — depending on how well it convinces overseas consumers that the iPod is as hip to have in China or India as it is in the U.S.”
Here, the iPod has been a runaway success. Last year, nearly 73% of the digital music players sold at retail in the U.S. were iPods, according to NPD, up from 56% in 2004. The company’s nearest competitor last year, SanDisk, held just 7% of the market,” Wolverton reports. “But success outside the U.S. has been limited. Research firm iSuppli, for instance, estimates that Apple’s share of the worldwide market for digital music players, in terms of units shipped, was 24.9% last year… [Apple] is already pushing the iPod overseas. For instance, the company has set up country-specific versions of its iTunes music store — which works hand-in-hand with the iPod — for Japan and more than a dozen countries and areas in Europe and Latin America.”
“Of particular note is the company’s record in Japan, where, despite intense competition from hometown electronics giants such as Sony and Matushita, Apple’s market share jumped to 51.3% of the market last year from 32% the year before, according to data from research firm BCN,” Wolverton reports. “But there’s no guarantee the iPod will become as dominant overseas as it is here in the U.S.”
Full article here.
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