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Happy birthday iPod

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LISA NAPOLI: Happy birthday iPod. It may be hard to imagine a time when the digital music player didn't exist. Now in just five years, it's become ubiquitous and made the company $1.5 billion this fiscal year alone. Now, what happens next is another question. From the Marketplace Innovations Desk, Janet Babin takes a look.


JANET BABIN: Apple sure has come a long way from its computer geek roots.

The company's at the leading edge of the entertainment industry. It controls 88-percent of all online music sales and 75 percent of all portable music players sold are iPods.

The gadgets initially took off because of Apple's breakthrough technology that allowed users to download songs to a portable music device.

But David Berlind with ZDNet says what drives iPod sales now is fashion. They've become the must-have accessory.

But five years from now, Berlind's not sure whether iPods, as we know them, will even exist:

DAVID BERLIND:"People are going to be looking to somehow merge the number of mobile devices that they're carrying on their belt. They're not going to want to have a separate phone and separate music player and they're going to want to have that all in one place."

Berlind says Apple will likely be the company to create that new device. It recently applied for patents for a possible iPhone.

I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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