Over 32 million adult Americans plan to buy an iPod within the next 12 months, a new report claims.

A recent study of digital music devices by TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence underlines Apple's dominance of US public perception of the digital music player market.

Sony this week revealed its Walkman Phone (the W800i). However, the product hasn't achieved anything like the profile of Apple's iPod.

"More than 140 million adult Americans have not heard of the Walkman Phone," the report reveals.

Orange will be the first UK network to offer the new Walkman Phone on August 12. It will be available free to Orange customers on selected service plans a

"No iPod killer"

This device offers 30 hours playback time, 2 megapixel digital camera,  FM radio and 512Mb memory. But Mobile Gazette describes it as "no iPod killer".

TechnoMetrica analyst Constantine Kambanis said: "Our findings suggest that the Walkman Phone is poorly positioned for a head-to-head match up against Apple's iPod or Dell's Digital Jukebox."

"While the generic concept generally does well among consumers and those who crave convenience, it has a weak showing among the consumer groups that propelled Apple's iPod to superstardom."

Target markets "shun" non-iPods

The report also confirms that Apple's presently core iPod market includes, "young people, those with a college education as well as those with relatively high household incomes."

Sony's lack of profile among these key disposable income-equipped groups may hinder Sony's attempt to regain market traction through combining its Walkman and mobile phone technologies.

For Sony, it may already be too late, Kambanis observed: "At this stage in the game, the iPod generation - and that term encompasses more than age - appears to be shunning the Walkman Phone, even at the conceptual stage."