Market research firm
reports that the video-capable fifth-generation iPod has helped to jumpstart the Portable Media Player (PMP) market, even though it doesn’t technically fit the definition of a “true” PMP.
Today, consumers are more aware of portable video, PMP brands and ways they can download video to handheld devices, according to In-Stat’s research. The company estimates the worldwide market for true PMPs to grow to five million units by the end of this year; that’s up from 390,000 units in 2004.
In-Stat analyst said that PMPs will continue to face changes from other portable devices offering similar features, especially notebook computers, portable DVD players and handheld games.
Apple’s entry into the video market with the newest iPod has spurred a slew of imitators from companies including SanDisk, Creative and Samsung, according to the research. That, combined with marketing and media, has added up to widespread awareness of such devices: A survey of consumers shows that 75 percent of all respondents have some level of familiarity with PMPs.
The research also says that improvements in video compression technology, video content download sites and wireless communications will help spur further adoption of the devices.