Apple will be hoping that its iPod music player continues to make hay while the sun shines, as envious competitors gear up to bring rival devices to market.
IPod's domination in the digital music player sector faces increased competition from Microsoft, which said earlier this month that versions of its media player will hit the shelves from late August.
Creative Labs will unleash its Zen Portable Media Centre late next month, a 20GB device based on Microsoft's software. But unlike the iPod it will allow consumers to watch videos on a 3.8 inch screen as well as play 80 hours of digital music.
And in September electronics giant Samsung will release its Yepp YH-999 Microsoft-based media player.
Both of the players will retail at $499, and are expected to be available in Europe shortly after their US release.
The market is set to become even busier: iRiver is promising to release its PMC-100 Microsoft-based player in Europe this autumn.
The devices, all based on Microsoft's Portable Media Centre, will play tracks recorded in MP3 and WMA, but will not support iTunes.
September also sees the release of Hewlett Packard's entry into the digital player market with a rebranded version of the iPod. It is rumoured to have a 60GB capacity.
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