‘Tis the season — MP3 player demand may propel analog IC growth

Austin, Texas — SigmaTel Inc. believes that a recent nationwide consumer survey shows that MP3 player purchases will top holiday shopping lists this year.

The survey, conducted during Thanksgiving week, yields insight into the personal music player (MP3) market, according to SigmaTel. The survey said that up to 20% of Americans (13.5 million according to 2000 U.S. census data), between the ages of 18 and 35 are considering an MP3 player purchase within the next six months. The survey found that 59% of would-be buyers plan to give MP3 players as gifts. Independent research firm, StrategyOne (New York, NY) conducted the survey, on behalf of SigmaTel.

This is good news for SigmaTel since the company is currently shipping its third generation MP3 controller chip with nearly 30 million chips sold in the last three years.

From storage capacity to ease-of-use and price, consumers take many factors into consideration when choosing to buy a player. Twenty-nine percent of respondents cited price as the leading attribute they would consider in making a purchasing decision, with 39% stating they would be willing to spend up to $100 and 24% would be willing to spend up to $150.

However, among those respondents who already own an MP3 player, 31% said they would be willing to spend $150 to $249 for a player with increased storage capacity. This seems to indicate that owners value added storage capacity and are willing to pay a higher premium for it.

“If consumer intentions are any indication, the MP3 market has moved beyond its infancy stage and is poised for significant growth,” said Ron Edgerton, president and chief executive officer of SigmaTel.

Among other consumer insights, the survey revealed that, surprisingly, brand lagged behind price and storage capacity with just 9% of respondents citing it as their main decision influencer.

When asked why they would consider buying an MP3 player, 63% of would-be buyers cited new music download services and 69% cited audio quality.

For a copy of the survey, please call (512) 381-3913. Visit SigmaTel on the web at:

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