How Long Until People Start Worrying About The Decline Of The MP3 Player Market?

from the convergence dept

We’ve been pointing out for a while that analysts who try to measure “the PDA market” are wasting everybody’s time. The addition of personal organizer functionality to mobile phones (or we could just as easily say, the addition of wireless telephony features to PDAs) meant that phones and PDAs were now part of one big “mobile communications device” market. The next step in that trend, already underway, is the gradual merging of the smart phone and MP3 player markets. An analyst is predicting that half of all cell phones will double as MP3 players by 2011. The cell phone market is getting close to saturation in the developed world, which means that manufacturers have to keep adding new features in order to convince customers to upgrade. I really hope this doesn’t mean we’ll have to spend the next five years debunking silly stories about the decline of “the MP3 player market.”

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Comments on “How Long Until People Start Worrying About The Decline Of The MP3 Player Market?”

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koresho says:

I for one

I, for one, will never use my phone as my MP3 player. No, not even the iPhone or any of the other MP#-capable handsets out there… why? Because I like having two, separated devices for the same reason that I prefer a separate router and cable modem: When one fails, you don’t have to replace both.

R. H. (profile) says:

Re: I for one

Personally, while I can understand your concern about the problems with a single point of failure, I like only having one device to keep up with. I admit that the amount of space on my HTC Wizard is limited to 2GB since it doesn’t support SDHC however, with a good bluetooth stereo headset, I can easily store about 12 hours or so of music at a decent bitrate. I didn’t start doing this until my mp3 player broke (about 2 weeks after I got this phone) though. I guess that’s when I decided to try it out and see how it worked for me. So far, it works just fine YMMV of course.

Anonymous Coward says:

I also like having distict devices for the two functions. I don’t want to drain my phone battery to listen to music and I don’t want my phone any near me when I am listening to music at the gym. Another issue is on some flights, the attendants won’t let you use a phone (for music) while flying. It’s still a phone according to them and against the FAA rules.

I want my phone to do its thing well (talk with someone) and my Ipod to make music.

Sniggers says:

Re: DaleM

right … and portable headphones (for the most part) do not come close to being able to adequately reproduce a CD the way a true audiophile/recording system can…

But then again, that’s not even the point. A portable computer’s capabilities (generally) pale in comparison to a true workstation, but good luck lugging that Sun megatower around!

Portability *can be* a plus…

His Shadow says:


As long as Apple is still around, the press will be full of “Apple is DOOMED” tripe because they simply can’t resist it. They will completely and utterly miss the point of the WiFi enabled and iCal syncing Touch, and will always consider the iPhone a phone no matter how much flash memory it eventually holds.

So yeah, we will get all kinds of “death of the mp3 player market” stories because as Apple’s iPods become full featured devices and the iPhone dominated the phone/PDA/mp3 market and pure MP3 ipods sell less, the usual suspects will not be able to resist the impulse to predict doom and gloom for Apple.

Anonymous Coward says:

I never got the obsession with having the newest mobile phone around… I suppose for some businessmen/salesmen/whatever it might pay to have to best one around to get as much functionality as possible in one package… But teenagers also seem to want the latest phone.

I’m 20 and I’ve had the same phone for the last 3-4 years, and before then I didn’t even have one… I feel no need to upgrade. What’s the obsession?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The only reason I have “upgraded” my phone, ever, was due to:

1) Switching carriers. Not that both carriers didn’t use the same phones, but they (in anti-consumer fashion) forbid interoperability

2) Breakage/Dead batteries. It’s usually cheaper to toss the whole phone in the trash than to replace the batteries

I have a MP3 player on my current phone, that I have never ever used, and never will. I like my standalone MP3 player. Until some battery breakthrough that gives them 100x the battery life, I won’t bother. I don’t have a phone just to listen to music on it, then be unable to talk to anyone since I wasted all my battery’s juice on a task better served by a stand-alone player.

Washii (profile) says:

What's The Obsession?

Re: Anon Coward Apr 2nd, 6:55pm

I’ve had my first cell-phone for almost a year now (am 21), but I have to wonder the same thing. At the time, I got a Razr on Verizon because it was small, cheap (free) and did what I wanted: it made calls. I really only have it because I’m pressing my way into IT Support.

I have a 40GB MP3 player (a bit dated), but I barely take it anywhere but for hour+ trips in the car. I believe that I’ll keep them as separate devices, no matter what these ‘cunning’ cell-phone manufacturers do.

My preference will remain: small, cheap (which will mean at least a generation back) and single-functioned (take my calls!)

ZeTron says:

Re: Re:

I agree. For me it’s ALL about battery life. I am not going to risk playing MP3s on my cell phone and having the battery die, or causing the battery to drain so low that it may as well be dead. Once a MP3/cell phone combo come out with a long battery life, then I will consider the option… The past 4 phones I’ve owned have had a built in MP3 player. I dont want anythig to do with that part of the phone. For now, just a decent camera and call quality (I have the 3.0 megapilel Verizon flipshot u900)

Jake says:

I can see how a laptop might reduce the need for a separate MP3 player -with the exception of a few budget sub-notebook designs, any modern laptop can hold enough MP3s to last through a fairly lengthy train journey- but since I don’t have any foreseeable use for a laptop (and the phrase ‘desktop replacement’ makes me feel like going postal), I think I’ll stick with two separate devices that do their job well than one device that tries to do everything and fails at most of them; I’ve never much liked PDAs, smartphones etc anyway.

Paul says:

Re: Re:

there’s market saturation with cell phones, not laptops. i don’t foresee the mp3 player market dying any time soon due to laptops. A person is more likely to have a cell phone than a laptop. Moreover, a person is more likely to want to carry their cell phone around with them more than their laptop. An mp3 player’s use isn’t only for long journeys. Its used during jogging (that’d be an interesting laptop scenario), the gym, commute (by car or train), and more. Maybe on a plane, it’s ok, especially since it has other features, but come on. The laptop will *not* kill the mp3 player.

Alimas says:

I Prefer my Devices Seperate

My experience with electronics has yielded this little piece of wisdom: The more features it has, the more easily it breaks.
I like having my MP3 player from other devices such as phones. Like the router and cable modem comparison above. Pieces are easier to replace/maintain.
Besides, I have a 60GB IPod, none of the cell phones even come close to that space which I have stuffed with videos and such.

Tack Furlo (user link) says:

Battery, schmattery

I still don’t understand this…

I have an HTC Advantage X7501. It runs windows mobile, has an 8GB drive (and a 4GB miniSD card, i.e. SDHC slot), Opera Mobile, WMP, and standard GSM cell phone service. It’s a bit of a brick but it holds and does everything. I have a device I bought on ThinkGeek for $9.99 that will take 4 AA batteries and power anything that’ll run off a USB port for 3 hours (or longer, it lasts about 2.5 when charging the X7501). I also have a Voltaic solar backpack which will also charge anything that’ll run off a USB port (as well as 7.2v or 3.5v, so it’ll charge ANYTHING Nokia has EVER made, with an adapter tip they sell for $3). So, to recap, I dropped $899 on the phone, and for $199 for the backpack and maybe $50 for the other stuff, I can run this phone, on battery, with WMP going full blast to my bluetooth headset, opera reading techdirt, wifi enabled and connected to any WLAN, and GPS tracking where I am, indefinitely. Between the battery pack, 8 rechargeable AAs, and the backpack, I can literally never, ever run the phone dead, even running everything (which will drain it in about 3 and a half hours). So why do people worry about battery life again?

I mean, seriously. You’re gonna go shell out $400 for your blackberry or better-than-halfass smartphone, and then $300 for an iPod. So you drop $700 on phone and media player and you seriously can’t afford a $199 backpack? Hell, even a $149 backpack? (I just checked, they discounted the lowest model.) Give me a break.

Hell, if that fails, for $199 you can get a Soldius 1 solar charger from ThinkGeek that will recharge an iPod (or anything else USB) in 4 hours. It collapses in half and can fit in about the same space as a checkbook. If you’re really one of the Prada crowd, then just get a Soldius and keep it stored away until you need it. Again, there is no good reason to EVER have a dead phone. You have sunlight, then you have battery. Period.

I just don’t see why people have battery problems with any small device any more. A laptop, sure, but nobody should ever have any media player, phone, or PDA with a dead battery.

Jake says:

Re: Battery, schmattery

Why not just take the adapter it came with? Airlines and train operators often provide sockets, and they’re not hard to find elsewhere.
Besides, if I was planning on doing more than listening to music and taking the odd phone call on the move then I personally would rather get a laptop with wireless and a Skype headset; PDAs make too many compromises in UI and hardware for my liking, especially for the kind of money your X7051 set you back.

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