Portable Player Push
The commoditization of portable media players (PMPs) is fast gaining momentum in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, where hundreds of manufacturers are in a flurry to develop products to rival Apple’s video iPod. Makers in the region are already responsible for manufacturing in part or in full many of the PMPs bearing well-known brands in the market. Many others have released prototypes and working models, and are eager to accept OEM orders and carry out mass production.
In a recent Global Sources survey of 36 companies in Greater China and South Korea, total shipment is expected to reach 4.9 million units in 2006, a 122 percent increase over 2005. Tier-one suppliers are shipping more than 10,000 units per month each.
Most PMPs from Taiwan and South Korea makers provide hard disk drive (HDD) storage, which has higher capacity than flash memory, and are embedded with the latest codecs. They feature larger screens, multiple connectivity options and easy-to-navigate user interface. Some HDD PMPs support digital video recording, voice and line-in recording, video format conversion, USB hosting (OTG), image slideshow, e-book reading, touch-screen operation and FM tuning/recording. Prices start at $130 for PMPs with 1-inch microdrive and $170 for models with 1.8-inch, 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch HDDs.