iPod Growth Still in Early Stage

Even though some analysts are concerned about the continued growth of the iPod market, Credit Suisse still sees potential. According to Forbes, a report to investors paints a positive picture of iPod, noting that Apple may be able to maintain a substantial growth rate for some time. That prediction is based on the 10 percent penetration into the market of PC users world wide.

Analyst Robert Semple commented "We believe Apple is still in the early stages of its product expansion and that the company can grow its iPod units at least 20% for the foreseeable future."

Europe is poised as a potential growth target with its limited 7.1 percent market penetration, compared to 15.5 percent in the United States. With similar demographics and buying patterns, Mr. Semple says "Europe remains the biggest opportunity for Apple."

Credit Suisse sees more good news for the iPod market: The current iPod "lifecycle" is down from two years to 1.5 years since consumers are replacing their portable music players with new models quicker than they used to.

All of this means that Appleis iPod may surpass Sonyis 309 million Walkman and Diskman shipments. It has taken Apple about five years to ship 50 million units, and it took Sony about 10 years to ship that many Walkmans.

Credit Suisse is maintaining its "Outperform" rating for Apple.

Apple stock is currently trading in the pre-market at US$63.15, up 0.25 (0.40%).

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