ABI Research says phones with hard drivers and generous data storage may soon surpass the portable player as the mass-market mobile music device of choice. Samsung's SPH-V5400 was one of the first handsets to include hard drive technology, offering 1.5 GB of storage back in 2004; since then we have seen Nokia's N91 with 4 GB, and most recently Samsung's SGH-i310 with 8 GB. ABI believes people will want an integrated device. The question is when? Currently, portable MP3 players still lead in their memory capabilities: High-end devices can hold as much as 30 GB or 60 GB. But ABI believes there is a point of diminishing returns beyond which a user doesn't care whether the device can store 2000 or 7500 songs. MP3 player vendors may try to defend themselves by offering even greater disk space, but over time they may still lose market share.
To read more about ABI Research's belief that cell phones will overtake MP3s:
- take a look at this release from the firm