Retailers and analysts are predicting that MP3 players will be among the most coveted items this holiday season.

The iPod is likely to be the MP3 player of choice for the majority. According to a survey by market analysis firm TNS, 25 per cent of children aged 8 to 14 want an iPod for Christmas. Just 9 per cent of parents are prepared to fork out for one however.

The FT reports that some analysts forecast that consumers will snap up as many as 4m iPods this holiday season. "That would be a staggering haul considering that it took Apple about three years to sell its first 5.7m iPods", writes reporter Scott Morrison.