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Digital Audio Player Market Forecast

The exploding market for both hard disk drive and Flash-based portable audio players is expected to reach over 104 million units by 2009, up from 27.8 million units in 2004, reports In-Stat. Drivers for this booming market include falling prices, the availability of legitimate subscription and pay-per-download online music sites, smaller hard disk drives, and increasing Flash memory capacities. In-Stat also reports revenue for both HDD and Flash-based MP3 players reached approximately $4.5 billion, a remarkable increase of almost 200 percent over 2003. Apple is the leader in worldwide portable audio players with 30.2 percent of the combined HDD and Flash-based portable audio player market. Other leading vendors include Rio, iRiver and Creative. In-Stat expects that 1GB capacity or greater Flash MP3 players will represent just over 20 percent of all Flash-based MP3 player shipments worldwide by the end of this year. Consumer survey data shows that the percentage of US respondents owning a digital audio player has increased from 16 percent in 2001 to 25 percent in 2005.

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