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October 12, 2007, 05:40:14 AM
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Zunerama Forum  |  Not Zune-Related  |  Digital Media Player board (Moderator: nymbis)  |  Topic: Taking On The iPod « previous next »
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Smithy
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Taking On The iPod
« on: September 12, 2007, 03:59:50 PM »

Quote
When Apple releases new versions of its market-dominating iPod, it usually leaves competing device makers choking on its exhaust fumes.

But not everyone has been crushed by the iPod juggernaut.

SanDisk (nasdaq: SNDK - news - people ), the Milpitas, Calif., maker of flash memory and USB drives, has managed to accomplish what technology giants like Sony (nyse: SNE - news - people ), Samsung and Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) failed to do: snare a sizable chunk of the U.S. market for portable digital media players.

And while Apple's (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ) iPod accounted for 71% of U.S. unit sales during the first six months of this year, according to NPD Group, down from 76% during the same period last year, SanDisk was a very distant, but still impressive, second, with 10%, share, up from 9% a year earlier. Rounding out the rest of the top five were Creative Technology (nasdaq: CREAF - news - people ) at 4%, Microsoft at 3% and Samsung with 2%. Market share for Sony wasn't immediately available, but clearly wasn't significant.
-----snip-----

The company made no ambitious efforts to set up its own online music store to rival Apple's iTunes Store, as Microsoft did with its Zune Marketplace and Sony tried with its Connect Music Service, scheduled to be shuttered next year.

Nor did it come up with a brand-new file format, as Sony did with its soon-to-be discontinued ATRAC, which requires Sony hardware and software to play.

SanDisk didn't even attempt to go head-to-head with Apple's flagship hard-drive iPod player, as Microsoft did with the Zune. Instead, the company entered the market in 2004 with a basic flash player and has focused most of its efforts on the sub-$200 end of the digital player market, with devices that compete with Apple's flash players, the iPod Shuffle and the iPod Nano.

Flash is SanDisk's natural forte. As a leading manufacturer of the chips, the company enjoys cost advantages over rivals. And because the SanDisk brand was already associated with memory cards and USB devices, it wasn't a great leap for customers to accept a flash music player from the same company.

The company has also updated its product line continuously. While Apple grabbed the media's attention with a slew of updates to the iPod family last week, SanDisk has been preparing the launch next month of new digital players of its own. Both are arguably better positioned to battle the glitz and glamour of the iPod name than the company's previous devices.
One of the new players is the Sansa Clip. The Clip is aimed squarely at same market niche as the Shuffle, which has one gigabyte of storage capacity and retails for $79. The Clip is larger, but costs half as much, has the same storage capacity and includes features not available on the Shuffle, including a small screen to display song titles, an FM radio and a built-in microphone. A two-gigabyte version will be available as well for $60, still nearly $20 less than the Shuffle.

Also coming in October is the Sansa View, an audio and video player with a 2.4-inch screen--$150 gets you the eight-gigabyte model; the 16-gigabyte version is $200. The Nano, by comparison, costs the same, features half the storage capacity and has a smaller two-inch s

Forbes

Like I have said before,  Microsoft could do a lot worse than take a page from SanDisk's book(great features and low prices). Just by themselves alone, SanDisk has manged to grab plenty of market share from Apple, and they don't even compete in the hard drive based player market.
I'd take the new Sansa Clip's over the little improved iPod Shuffles any day, and I am going to bet plenty of consumers will as well. They are much better than the "new" Shuffles.
Expect SanDisk to increase their market share by quite a bit by this time next year.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2007, 04:13:14 PM by Smithy » Logged
Kaiser
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Re: Taking On The iPod
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2007, 05:23:08 PM »

SanDisk is a heavyweight in the flash drive business, so they can pretty much conquer with flash-based tech. I'm interested to see if they pull off another WiFi enabled device that doesn't need a subscription service to make full usage of its wireless chip.
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AK Water
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Re: Taking On The iPod
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2007, 03:24:21 PM »

SanDisk makes very good stuff, I really like SanDisk.  If it weren't for the Creative Zen and that new Toshiba flash based device, than the Sansa e200 series would still be the best flash based player on the market. 
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If you told me in 2001 that Apple and Microsoft where gonna be number 1 and 2 in this market by 2007, I probably would have called you crazy. 
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