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MP3 player sales drop by more than 20% as consumers increasingly turn to smartphones


By Gillian West, Social media manager

December 27, 2012 | 2 min read

Mintel analysis has shown that sales of MP3 players have fell by 22 per cent compared to 2011.

The drop equates to around £110 million with sales revenue falling to around £381 million. If the purchases continue to slow at this pace Mintel predicts sales will half by 2017, with a "worst case scenario" being MP3 player sales reaching just £25 million within five years.

The decline of the MP3's popularity can be attributed to smartphones which allow users to play and store digital music and video as well as being able to make calls, send text messages and access the internet.

The iPod, launched in 2001, changed the way many people consume music on-the-go, by autumn 2010 around 275 million iPods has been sold worldwide. In its most recent financial quarter Apple said it had soled 5.3 million iPods worldwide, a fall of 19 per cent when compared with the same period last year.

Mintel technology analyst Samuel Gee, commented that MP3 players were being "steadily outshone" by smartphones and that the sales dip is "unlikely to reverse".

Figures released earlier this year stated that there are more than one billion smartphones in use around the world, Ofcom also confirmed recently that two-fifths of UK adults now own a smartphone.

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