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Originally published August 22 2006

SanDisk unveils breakthrough MP3 player with 8GB of flash storage

by NaturalNews

(NaturalNews) SanDisk, a leading manufacturer of flash memory products, has released its latest foray into the MP3 player market with the Sansa e280, an 8GB, flash-memory-based player which hopes to compete with Apple Computer's similar iPod Nano.

The SanDisk player already has a significant advantage over its Apple contemporary, as it comes standard with 8GB of memory that can be expanded to 10GB through the use of SanDisk's 2GB MicroSD cards, and the company says cards with greater capacities are in the works. This level of storage capacity is a leap beyond the flash-memory driven Nano's 4GB capacity for the same $249 price tag.

The e280 also comes standard with a digital FM tuner, which consumers can record to their flash memory; a microphone that lets the MP3 player double as a voice recorder; and the ability to play any MP3 or WMA file, along with Microsoft PlaysForSure and Rhapsody To Go formats, through its nonproprietary digital rights management system.

SanDisk's Sansa line doesn't merely try to outperform Apple's product features, however, as the company has announced it will be dropping the prices of its 2GB, 4GB and 6GB models significantly below their Apple counterparts.

Still, it is unlikely Apple's position at the top of the totem pole is in imminent danger. Apple has broken away from most of its immediate competitors within the digital music player market, but Ted Schadler, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, said SanDisk was in the best position to challenge Apple. He noted that the e280 was not a break in the MP3 market, but it was an indication of SanDisk's "relentlessness" as a company.

"(SanDisk) gets memory cheaper than anybody, and they have tremendous distribution reach because they have their SD cards everywhere," he said. "Because they have a tremendous retail presence already with their memory cards, they can bring these products to those same retailers and get shelf space, and that's a huge advantage.

"Three things make a difference: price, quality of the product -- which is steadily getting better -- and their reach. SanDisk has all those coming together now."


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