Just yesterday we talked about how analysts seem obsessed with calling for the iPod's demise, but for the most part they have little to back up their dire predictions. Some try to use the iTunes store as a proxy for the health of the iPod, which is a misguided approach. Apple also denies that the store is experiencing any weakness. Well, another analyst is out with a new report predicting that sales of the actual device itself will slow considerably in the coming years, as the overall market contracts, and new entrants join the race. This really isn't saying much though. Of course at some point the mp3 player market will reach some level of saturation, and at that point, sales of the iPod will have to slow. It's only a matter of time before this happens, and to predict that it will occur some time in the next few years isn't going very far out on a limb. He also argues that the vaunted iPod lock-in isn't actually so strong; considering that the majority of people's songs aren't being bought through the iTunes store, that may be true. Of course, there's still the large ecosystem of third-party devices and accessories built around the iPod. As we said yesterday, before there's real evidence that iPods are themselves slowing down, or that they soon will, all of these warnings are pure speculation.
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