Converged Mobile Music Grows, Storage Remains Important

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Consumers are increasingly interested in converged mobile music experiences, yet storage remains a gating factor.

In a recent survey published by PriceGrabber.com, 58 percent of consumers felt that phones carrying MP3 players are “valuable,” while 54 percent of purchased devices offered embedded music capabilities.  Meanwhile, the LA-based comparison shopping destination noted that 85 percent of its top 20-selling phones carried MP3 player capabilities, a 31 percent jump over similar figures from last year.

Mobile manufacturers are stuffing more and more features into their devices, including camcorders, cameras, GPS navigational systems, and of course, music playback.  By default, that rising tide of options means more music functionality, and a growing threat for stand-alones like the iPod.  Still, storage remains a barrier, though PriceGrabber noted that 45 percent of its top-selling devices have at least 60MB out-of-the-box.  And a large percentage of those devices can be easily upgraded.

Still, one-third of respondents noted that bigger storage is still attracting them to dedicated MP3 players.  Meanwhile, other factors may also be at play.  Stand-alone MP3 players also offer dedicated interfaces, and that means easier access to songs, playlists, and other features.  And even though a consolidated device offers all-in-one convenience, a lost device means everything is gone.  PriceGrabber canvassed 2,535 consumers for the report