Thu, Jul 20, 2006 - Page 11 News List

MP3 sales in Asia are set to boom, says research group

AFP , SINGAPORE

The number of MP3 players sold in the Asia-Pacific region outside Japan is forecast to nearly triple over the next four years, an industry research group said yesterday.

International Data Corp (IDC) puts sales at 36 million units by 2010, up from 14 million last year.

This will constitute a compound annual growth rate of 20.8 percent and will be driven by strong demand for the tiny but stylish entertainment gadgets that can store and play music, video and games, the firm said.

"Demand for portable MP3 players in the region remained strong (last year) with 66.7 percent growth over 2004," said Claudio Checchia, IDC regional manager for consumer research.

As prices of flash memory cards fall, the sale of portable flash players is expected to rise and increasingly displace gadgets that use disc drives, IDC said.

"As a result, the portable flash player category will remain the leading type of portable MP3 player that consumers across the region will purchase going forward," IDC said.

The Chinese market is "expected to continue to drive regional growth throughout the forecast period," it said, adding competition is likely to increase, pushing more vendors out of the market.

Mobile phones that can store and play songs, portable media players and portable gaming devices that play back compressed audio files are expected to have an impact on sales of portable MP3 players, IDC said.

"Video support for music video playback is expected to drive demand for ... MP3 players throughout the forecast period," IDC said.

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