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PMPs to favor flash over HDDs, reports iSuppli

Posted: 12 Jun 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:portable media players? NAND flash memories? HDDs?

Flash memory will reign supreme in portable media players (PMPs) for the next couple of years, with the number of devices with HDDs expanding too, though at a more modest pace, according to iSuppli.

The number of flash-equipped PMPs is expected to rise to 150.2 million units by 2011, or more than 25 times the 5.9 million units that shipped in 2006, according to iSuppli. The number of flash-equipped units expected to ship this year is 54.8 million. iSuppli defines a PMP as an MP3 player capable of video playback and equipped with a suitable color display.

Meanwhile, shipments of PMPs equipped with HDDs are forecast to increase to only 35.3 million units in 2011 from 29.3 million units this year.

The cost of NAND flash is dropping to where MP3 players can add enough capacity to support video content, iSuppli analyst Chris Crott said in a statement. The average cost of flash memory is expected to decline by more than 47 percent per year through 2010.

Advantages of flash memory over HDDs include longer battery life, smaller size, more flexible form factors, and a wider variety of capacities. In addition, flash is less prone to failure. Cost, however, remains the downside.

Nevertheless, the use of flash memory is expected to increase dramatically, not just in PMPs, but also in notebooks, according to iSuppli.

- Antone Gonsalves
Information Week

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