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NPD: Media player sales down save for iPod

updated 08:35 am EST, Mon December 24, 2007

NPD on Media Player Sales

Sales of most handheld media players have dropped during the holiday season just as sales for nearly every other consumer electronics category is climbing upwards, according to a new report from The NPD Group. Tracking sales between November 18th and December 9th -- typically regarded the first half of the holiday shopping period -- the research firm noted that the portable media market declined on average by 16 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. The lone exception is the iPod line, NPD says. Though growth is not as strong as for past years, the Apple device is believed to be countering the downward trend. The group has not published figures for iPod sales.

Most of the decline is attributable to market saturation, according to the research group. As most of the buyers who can both afford players and want them have already purchased the devices, those who are purchasing now are either relative stragglers or else upgrading from older players. Overall revenues are also dropping as most users cannot justify the storage needed for hard disk players, which are now averaging at 80GB for devices such as the iPod classic and Zune 80. Most instead opt for less expensive flash-based models.

Apple may have ultimately contributed to the sales decline from its rivals, NPD claims: as the company has expanded into a greater number of retail channels, it has pushed out some sales of manufacturers that previously had exclusive access to certain outlets.

The drop was paralleled by that of plasma HDTV sets, which dropped 6 percent in unit sales over the three-week period as viewers shifted to similarly-sized but less expensive LCD models, which grew 43 percent. The strongest growth has so far occurred for digital photo frames, which jumped by 266 percent, and by GPS navigation devices, which soared by 488 percent.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006


    best player prevails

    Looks like the truth.

    Currently, four of the top ten most popular Electronics sold at Amazon are iPods; no other music players are in the top ten list.

  1. robttwo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2005


    More genius analysts

    "Apple may have ultimately contributed to the sales decline from its rivals" --

    uh, duh.

    And those buying are NOT stragglers - they are replacing older players with iPods.

    Once again, another fine example of why many companies struggle with marketing - reliance on dumbass (and basically meaningless) research like this.


  1. robttwo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2005


    wait a minute

    Isn't OSX and the MAC the virus/exploit - plagued computer?? Im confused - that's all I've been hearing about here. How Apple doesn't fix things quick enough, how there are all this security holes, how all these consultants are finding problems...?????????

    I guess when it comes down to the real world - things are as we thought and not as some greedy-a** security "company" would want us to believe.

    The only reason there aren't 100 stories a day that Vista sucks is the same reason we don't read headlines such as "people breath air" or "the sun rose this morning" - everyone knows it, we all expect it, and it will never change.


  1. Constable Odo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007


    What's funny is that...

    the forum members over at engadget keep saying how short on features (lacking FM and recording) and the sound quality is so poor, yet Apple keeps selling iPods through the roof.

    Why would anyone want to buy an overpriced iPod when the Sansa or Zen or (pick any other mp3 player) has far more features at a much cheaper price? I guess branding has a lot of pull. Even though I know other mp3 players have more features, I don't really consider buying anything except an Apple iPod.

    My 15 month old iPod 5G is in excellent shape and I've had no problems at all with it. I want to buy a 32 GB iPod touch when it's available just because I think it'll really rock.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005


    Bwahahahah!, how are those "iPod Killers" with all the "additional wanted features" doing now?

    Yeah, right!

    Fact is, while there's a certain sub-segment of gripers that will whine endlessly about some useless features that THEY deem essential, the majority of consumers simply want an EASY TO USE music player.

    Additionally, you will notice that the whiners over on sites like Engadget are invariably the same minority - the folks who clamor for FM, but never use it; the guys who complain about 'horrible sound quality', but use crappy headphones, and listen to their music in their cars (!), and of course, the long-bearded miscreants to whom any player not supporting Ogg-Vorbis is simply not worth it (despite no one really supports it, and there are no real benefits to it) - oh, and did I forget to mention the segment of folks that simply hate Apple, and vow to never buy anything from them, just because... (and, of course, who will all be using iPods by next year).

    In short -- the handful of whiners, that are determined to never buy anything from Apple, but at the same time complain about what iPods 'should' have, really don't give Apple any sleepless nights.

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002


    lack of brown...

    ...must be pooping zune sales...

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