SanDisk Targets iPod With New MP3-Player, Prices

SanDisk, a Milpitas, Calif.-based producer of flash memory, plans to announce on Monday a set of music-player upgrades, price cuts and a new MP3 player, dubbed the Sansa e280, with a price that’s comparable to Apple Computer’s uber-popular iPod nano and with twice the storage capacity, The Wall Street Journal reports.

SanDisk plans to unveil its $249.99, 8GB Sansa e280—which can store roughly 2,000 songs—and it also said it would cut the prices of its other music players by almost 30 percent, according to the Journal.

SanDisk e200 series flash-based MP3 player
SanDisk e200 series

SanDisk is attempting to generate some positive buzz around its MP3 players, which are currently number two in the digital music player space behind Apple’s golden child, and draw attention to its products before the important upcoming holiday sales rush.

The flash maker also said it would soon undercut Apple by offering a music player that sells for less than $100, the Journal reports.

Though most firms that have come up against Apple in the digital music player space have failed to present any significant competition to the Cupertino, Calif.-based electronics and computer giant in the past, SanDisk is Apple’s closest competitor in the United States, according to the Journal.

Eli Harari, SanDisk chief executive officer, said, “The battle for us was to establish ourselves as the clear number two, to distance ourselves from Creative, Samsung and Sony. It was quite surprising to us, frankly, how quickly and readily our products were accepted,” according to the Journal.

SanDisk has an edge over many competitors in the digital media player market, as it uses its own flash-memory chips and is therefore able to offer its products at lower prices than rivals, the Journal reports.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to the Journal’s inquiry regarding SanDisk’s planned announcement.

The news comes amid a brewing media storm around Microsoft’s upcoming Zune digital media player, which the company confirmed last month, and it said it would sink hundreds of millions of dollars into the device’s development before its pre-holiday release. Just last week, previously unannounced details regarding Zune’s user interface, as well as a new photo, surfaced online.

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