Apple has educated consumers into the digital lifestyle - and mobile music providers need to look at existing iPod users if they want to make their services and devices succeed, a report claims.

Analysts at M:Metrics specialise in looking at the mobile industry. They have revealed new research which claims existing iPod users are more likely than others to use mobile services. These tech-savvy consumers are twice as likely to download music and video to their mobile phone, the analysts claim.

iPod owners - switched-on, tech-savvy

"iPod owners comprise only 14.4 per cent of the mobile phone market, but M:Metrics found that they account for 29.5 per cent of those who reported listening to music on their mobile phones and 30 per cent of those who watched video on their phone," the research explains.

iPod users are also three times more likely to transfer media content from their computer to their phone - 35.9 per cent of the 598,376 consumers who have done just that are iPod owners, too. They are also more likely to use their phone to get such content than owners of any other music player.

Digital lifestylers want shock of the new

Mark Donovan, vice president and senior analyst said: "There is clearly demand for converged mobile devices among those who lead a digital lifestyle to enhance, not necessarily replace, their existing digital media devices."

He also explained that the debut of integrated devices which combine music player and mobile phone capabilities is "unlikely" to destroy demand for iPods.

"Nokia has become the world's largest manufacturer of digital cameras, but camera phones haven't destroyed demand for dedicated digital cameras. In a similar fashion, mobile music and video capabilities will become ubiquitous but are unlikely to 'kill the iPod'," he explained.

iPod owners are twice as likely to share a mobile video, either by sending it to a phone or to an email address. M:Metrics also found that 15 per cent of iPod owners said they were likely to pay for a mobile music service in the next year, compared to a market average of 9 per cent.

The research suggests that Apple will have another hit product on its hands should it release an Apple mobile phone/iPod hybrid, as it will be creating a product that's in most demand chiefly among the users it already has.