While Apple continues to stress that it will not be introducing a video iPod, a technology research company is claiming that the market for portable video players is gathering steam.

According to ABI Research's director of broadband research, Vamsi Sistla: "The portable video player is entering the mainstream portable market. As price points fall, screens get bigger and form factors shrink, the market for portable video players is increasing."

"But because of their higher cost, personal video player market growth is not as explosive as that for MP3 players was in its initial stages," he adds.

Speaking of the film industry's fear of piracy, Sistla's says: "The industry has to figure out a way to deal with changes in technology and to make sure the consumer's rights to minimum copying for personal use are met, while at the same time protecting copyright holders' interests."

He suggests that the film industry has much to learn from Apple's iTunes Music Store. "Make it legal. Motion picture industry players and regulators should jump in much sooner to realize the potential of this opportunity and start generating revenue. Maybe we need another Steve Jobs, to take the portable video player sales to the next level," he says.