Many people are concerned that the tablet and smartphone trends might lead to the disappearance of PCs and laptops. However, not many of them think about the trend’s effect on MP3 players.
Until recently, the iPod was among Apple’s most popular devices. However, today sales are not doing really well. The reason is that consumers now have various music player alternatives to choose from.
NPD Group conducted a study and it found that nearly half of the people who own a smart mobile device use it to listen to music. According to the research, about 40% of all tablet users regularly listen to music on their device. This rate is even higher with smartphone owners – 54%. Moreover, 39% of them listen to music on their smartphone at least once every day. Compared to last year, these figures have greatly increased.
NPD Group’s study also found that more and more smartphone and tablet owners use Internet Radio services. Currently they amount to about 65%. The second most preferred music source on smart portable devices is users’ own music files. Around 60% of the people who have a smartphone and nearly 50% of those who own a tablet listen to the music they have downloaded online or ripped from their personal CD collection. Music subscription services are also finding place in the top three. However, they are more popular on smartphones (30%).
Smartphone and tablets have more capabilities and functions than iPods and other MP3 players. They can play stored files, access online services and internet radios. In addition, their memory capacity is now much greater and expandable than that of iPods.
The market share of Apple’s MP3 players began to drop as soon as smartphones started to include music playback features. In fact, the company itself contributed for iPod’s fall. Back in 2007, when Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone, he praised it for the fact that it combined many different functions including the music playing. Six years ago, nearly 50% of Apple’s revenue came from the MP3 player. Not the device is losing its ground.
Among the others newly emerging trends in mobile music are wireless headphones. The sales rate of these devices has jumped with 34% in only one year. Wireless speakers are also enjoying a huge popularity. Only the sales of Bluetooth models have increased with over 20% compared to the beginning of 2012. This tendency is expected to continue for at least another twelve months.
All these numbers show that the consumers’ habits and needs are changing and that the iPod is having a hard time fulfilling them. Apple’s music player may soon become only a memory from the past.