Apple Under Scrutiny as Music Competition Rises

Apple Computer Inc. may have sold more than twice as many of its iPod digital music players in its most recent quarter than its signature Mac computers, but competitors are turning the up the heat in the nascent online music industry. Apple now sells more music players than computers, but analysts are divided on whether the surge in profits will be eroded by what is sure to be growing competition.

For now, the company is the undisputed leader in digital music players and online music sales with the iPod, iPod mini and the iTunes online music store. It has more than 60 percent of the market for players that use either flash memory or higher-capacity hard disk drives to store songs, according to industry research firm NPD Group. And Apple says more than 70 percent of all songs purchased and downloaded online come from its online music store, more than 150 million to date. But competition is rising.

News source: Reuters

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