Analyst 'Teen Tour' Shows iPod Dominating Music Player Market

A survey of nearly 600 teenagers in eight states shows the Apple iPod and iPod mini are dominating "mindshare and market share" with those under 16 years of age, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.

Of those surveyed, 16% said they currently owned an iPod product. 25% said they planned on buying one by years end. Of the most wanted Christmas gift this year, an iPod ranked fourth behind clothes, money, and a car.

32% of the polled students were looking to buy a portable digital audio player within 12 months. Of those, 75% expected they will buy an iPod.

The survey was released Wednesday and obtained by The Mac Observer. Of the 600 polled, 40% were male and 60% female. The average household income in the regions where the survey was conducted was about US$64,000 versus the national average of $42,000.

Mr. Munster and his research team also found that illegal file sharing is still popular among teenagers. 65% indicated they downloaded music on a regular basis. Of that number, 73% have used an file sharing site such as Kazaa or Limeware to illegally download copyrighted music.

"We believe many of these students will seek legitimate alternatives to illegal file sharing as they get older," Mr. Munster wrote. "We expect file sharing to become increasingly difficult as the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and record labels use technology and the law to stem the bleeding."

Mr. Munster did not ask those surveyed which personal computer they specifically own or use, TMO has learned.

Mr. Munster continues to recommend Apple as a stock to buy with an iOutperformi ranking.