Apple discusses growing iPod market share –

Apple expects the average selling prices for iPods to decline in the current quarter, the company revealed last night.

Speaking during the company's financial results call, chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer admitted: "We expect them (iPod selling prices) to be down a little bit in the June quarter." This suggests that Apple expects to sell more of the lower priced iPods, such as the nano, than higher priced iPods, such as the video enabled iPod.

Apple sold 8.526 million iPods in the quarter for US$1.714 billion in revenue. That's 61 percent more unit sales, year on year, and 69 percent more revenue.

Apple's "other music-related products and services" category grew 125 percent, pulling in $485 million in revenue. Oppenheimer said the company was "thrilled" by these figures, which grew even in comparison with the December quarter. These results underline the popularity of the iTunes Music Store, but the iPod Hi-Fi and iPod accessories also contributed to the result.

iTunes Music Store now accounts for 87 percent of all legal U.S. digital music sales.

NPD Techworld figures disclosed at the meeting showed that U.S. iPod market share reached 78 percent in March, up from 71 percent in December.

Apple also admitted that it has seen iPod market share increases across multiple territories. In the U.K. it holds 40 percent, Japan 54 percent, Canada 45 percent, and Australia 58 percent of the music player market.

Oppenheimer explained that an estimated 30 percent of new cars sold in the U.S. will have iPod integration built in.

"If you look outside the international countries, such as Italy and Spain, China and Korea, market share is much less than in the U.K., Japan, Canada, and Australia. We are focused on increasing that share by increasing our local advertising and points of distribution," Oppenheimer said.

The company has also seen some success building its presence up in France and Germany, where the iPods market share has grown to 11 and 21 percent (from 4 and 11 percent) respectively, Oppenheimer said.

"The MP3 player market has a lot of room to grow," he said.

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