Video to overtake audio in mobile media players by the end of 2008

Sales of video-enabled portable media players are expected to outpace those of audio-only players by the end of 2008, a new study by In-Stat predicts.

Driven by increased broadband penetration, declining price points, and a growing catalog of online audio and video content, the market for all categories of media players will remain strong over the next five years, the report said. Currently, the market is mainly driven by audio capability. That, In-Stat predicts, will change in a year.

In-Stat said worldwide unit shipments for all media players will reach 275 million units in 2011, up from 182 million in 2006. Of the 2408 respondants to In-Stat’s latest survey of U.S. consumers, 52 percent now own some type of media player.

The research company said it does not expect music-enabled cell phone shipments to displace dedicated media player shipments anytime soon, but there is an opportunity for cell phone manufacturers to capture those consumers who are considering cheap, audio-only MP3 players.