Apple will "strengthen this position in the MP3 market with its new broad range of price points and portability features" for the iPod, states GartnerG2.

Not content to sit and revel in its current dominance of the market, Apple continues to innovate, explains the analyst firm. "Apple has shipped more than 10 million iPods and holds a 65 per cent market position for MP3 players. Many companies would be content to milk the profits and enjoy the market dominance. However, Apple continually responds to market demands."

Thanks to the price changes, GartnerG2 suggests that: "Consumers can easily find an iPod model that meets their price and portability requirements." The company also expects that the recent enhancements should "fend off" competitors".

Total support

The analysis also notes that more evidence of the iPod's dominance can be found in the number of third-party products that have sprung up to support it. "Over 400 of them have hit the market since the first iPod was launched. This robust, third-party market proves the strength of the iPod franchise. No other player enjoys this level of support."

GartnerG2 also states that "the integration between the music service and the player is the most important aspect of any digital music player – and this is where Apple excels."

"How easily iTunes works with all of the players in the iPod line makes it the best experience on the market. Microsoft and the players that support the Windows Media Player have a serious challenge, and it is clear that Apple does not intend to leave any doors open for competitors to walk in," writes Van Baker and Mike McGuire.