The name iPod has become synonymous with the music player market.

Solutions Group research analyst Kaan Yigit told the Financial Post that: "The iPod is the Kleenex of the category".

This means the product has developed consumer mind share to the extent that when people discuss music players they automatically turn to the name iPod to help them describe what they are talking about. "What the iPod has in spades is a super-high cool factor," the report states.

It draws comparisons between eBay, Amazon and others for firms whose product has become synonymous with the experience. It also warns that such an advantage can be lost, as Sony lost the personal audio industry advantage it once held within its Walkman brand.

Apple partners profit on da ‘Pod

Apple's third-party suppliers continue to draw benefit from the iconic product.

For example, analysts at Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) this week repeated their assessment that iPod manufacturing partner PortalPlayer will outperform its peers.

"PortalPlayer remains well positioned in 2005 with a significant unit growth opportunity in hard-disk-drive-based media players."

This advice was based on CSFB's belief that Apple shipped four million iPods in the period. Exceeding expectations, Apple this week revealed it shipped in excess of six million iPods in the period.

Apple’s summer smackdown

CSFB expect significant moves ahead: "Apple hinted at innovative music products ahead, which we continue to believe will arrive in late August/early September as a high-end flash player and significantly boost PortalPlayer's second-half revenue opportunity," they wrote.

Apple's Far East suppliers are also experiencing benefits from the product's success, particularly flash memory manufacturers.

A report on DigiTimes states that such manufacturers are "feeling bullish", with demand for their products driving to beyond supply levels.