The worldwide market for digital audio players (DAPs) is now worth $4.5 billion according to research company InStat. In its ‘Portable Digital Audio Players: Moving To The Beat Of A Booming Market’ report, the company estimates that Apple now enjoys a 30.2% share of the combined disk and flash-based DAP market and is the world leader. The factors creating the growth are pretty obvious really: falling prices, more digital music services and increasing flash memories.

Almost 28 million DAPs were sold in 2004 but that could rise to 104 million by 2009 and of those 20% could be 1Gb or larger flash models.