Portable video player sales on the rise

12 Oct 2007

Shipments of video portable multimedia players (PMPs) such as Apple’s iPod and Creative’s Zen are set to grow 30pc year on year over the next five years, reaching 132 million units sold in 2011, Parks Associates has predicted.

MP3 player manufacturers will drive growth through their desire to add video capability to the portable audio player platform and capitalise on the healthy growth of the broadband video market worldwide, the analyst firm said.

“The video PMP market will enter a strong growth period within the next five years,” said Harry Wang, senior analyst at Parks Associates. “Video capability fuels the upgrade demand from existing device owners, and more content, especially free and short online video clips, gives consumers the incentive to upgrade.”

In North America, the percentage of flash-based video PMPs will rise from 15pc in 2006 to 77pc in 2011. Elsewhere, flash-based video PMPs already account for the majority of the market and will continue to expand their lead.

“Flash memory’s merits, such as durability, small form factor and low power consumption, make it the preferred storage medium for video PMP manufacturers,” Wang said. “Barring any significant developments in the online video market, the use of hard-disk drive on the PMP platform will trail substantially.”

Despite Parks Associates’ expectations, Wang said that the PMP remains an uncertain product category. “Part of the problem is although we’ve had so far an explosive growth of online video services, the uptake of PMP as a distinctive entertainment platform is undermined by the flourishing of alternative portable entertainment devices.”

By Niall Byrne