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A little more than a year after the first phones with MP3 player enhancements hit the market, their selling numbers greatly exceed those of specialized mobile phones. Such market trend practically means that Apple iPhone and Microsoft Zune phone products are inevitable.

“Music-enabled phones already out-ship MP3 players by a factor of more than 2 to 1,” a report by Mark Kirstein of iSuppli reads.

Currently there are many phone models on the market, including Walkman-series from Sony Ericsson, Rokr-series from Motorola, Music Edition-phones from Nokia and others, which are tailored for music playback and which already pose very serious competition to Apple’s iPod and other music players. But in addition to outselling the specialized devices from companies like Apple or Creative Labs, MP3 phones may be a threat for music selling services like iTunes.

“The rising number of mobile music track downloads and the increasing sales of music-enabled phones as a competitive threat to broadband music and standalone MP3 players,” the report says.

Financial analysts have been talking about Apple iPod phone for several quarters now, as this type of product would be able to leverage the company’s digital media franchise as well as drive Apple’s sales up. Analysts from Prudential Equity Group recently indicated that there are two models coming, including one that has Wi-Fi capability. Microsoft also implied that the Zune-branded cell phone is also possible.

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