Here’s one to watch: recall the beginning of the month when Sony briefly outsold Apple’s iPod with its Walkman in Japan, and just how widely that news spread? We’re wondering if this nugget will spread as fast…

Sure, it was significant as it represented the first time in four years Sony had grown a sales lead on its rival, but as we predicted Sony’s little home turf advantage has evaporated already, following Apple’s introduction of the new iPod range, according to BCN.

Apple’s iPod market share shot up to 58 per cent in the week ending September 13, far and away ahead of Sony with 32.1 per cent.

Its a big change – Sony held 47.4 per cent the previous week, compared to Apple’s then 37.1 per cent, Bloomberg informs.

Naturally, we’re suspicious on these statistics because they don’t include iPhone (which is also an iPod) sales though how the total Japanese market for music playing devices including phones shapes up hasn’t yet been revealed by BCN.

Apple has sold near 225 million iPods worldwide since the device launched in 2001. Half of all new iPods sold go to customers who have not previously purchased an Apple music player.

It boasts 100 million iTunes accounts and has shifted 8.5 billion songs so far. Between Jan 6, 2009 and July 21, 2009 the service sold 2 billion songs. That’s interesting when you consider it took Apple between April 28 2003 and January 10, 2007 to sell the first two billion.

Apple says it has 73.8 per cent of the MP3 player market, followed by 18 per cent held by "other", SanDisk at 7.2 per cent and Microsoft at 1.1 per cent share.

Sales of portable music players in Japan fell by 13.5 per cent in August from a year earlier.

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