Almost thirteen years after Apple launched the first generation iPod offering “1,000 songs in your pocket” the product evolution rolls on with the release of the new 16 GB iPod touch for RRP $249.
As average sale prices have decreased and smartphones offer music storage and streaming as a staple feature, the mp3 player market is sparsely populated. The audio market has shifted focus, and over half of the revenue in the category is generated by devices that dock wirelessly predominantly via Bluetooth, according to 2014 GfK data.
This is compared to 2006 , when the category recorded sales of $506 million (MAT), a 329 per cent increase over the $154 million generated the year earlier. According to the old GfK data the mp3 category alone represented 55 per cent of the entire $906 million audio category.
Even the dominant player in the market is selling fewer mp3 players. According to Apple’s Q2 financial results for 2014, iPod sales dropped to 2.7 million from 5.63 million units sold in the same period in 2013. For context, in Q2 Apple sold 43.7 million iPhones, 16.3 million iPads and 4.1 million Macs.
The new iPod touch is an mp3 player with software features of a mobile device, such as iOS 7, access to the App Store and of course access to the iTunes Store to purchase music, TV shows, movies and books.
In regards to the actual hardware, it is available in five colours and equipped with a 5 megapixel iSight camera with 1080 HD video recording, 4-inch Retina display and FaceTime camera.
Creative Labs, a Singapore-based audio company stopped marketing mp3 players in Australia in 2009. However there are still a few players still competing in the mp3 market, at much lower price points than the iPod.
Available at Dick Smith, the Philips range of portable digital video and audio players includes an 8GB mp3/video player for RRP $79.98, which has a 1.8-inch screen, up to 20 hours of battery life and FM radio.
The range also includes the Philips GoGear Sport 4GB mp3 player RRP $23.98, which is designed for use during workouts. It comes with armband and headphones and offers up to 6 hours of music playback.
Sony is also still releasing new products in the mp3 market, launching the latest Walkman (NWZ-B183) in April 2014.
At RRP $59, the digital music player has 4GB of memory space, can store approximately 890 songs and boasts 20 hours of playback time.
The aluminium body features a built-in USB to plug directly into PCs, enabling cable-free transfers to easily drag and drop tracks to the Walkman. For regular radio listeners, Sony has also announced the NWZ-B183F variant with 30 preset FM radio channels, within the range of 87.5 to 108.0.