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SanDisk Takes on Apple

Techstination feature for Friday, May 12, 2006

SanDisk takes on Apple's Nano. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. It looks a lot like the flash memory Nano players that became another instant hit in Apple's iPod line-up. But SanDisk has added more capability to the new Sansa e200 players….that are available in two, four or six gigabyte models. Director of consumer products marketing Eric Bone….

"We've got a larger screen, we have a micro SD slot for music expansion, we have a very scratch resistant alloy metal back plate and we have a replaceable, rechargeable lithium ion battery."

All features that are shortcomings in Apple's design. The e200's LCD screen does a decent job displaying photos…and the device can play 10 minute video clips as well. Photos and videos have to be uploaded through media conversion software included with the player. In addition…the e200 has a built in voice recorder and FM radio and recorder. The built in mini SD memory card slot means music can be transported between the e200 and the growing number of cell phones that use that memory card format…

"That's definitely the strategy. We work with a lot of mobile phone manufacturers on the OEM side of SanDisk, and we are watching a lot of the integration of the Micro SD slot. The concept here was to take the music that you're either downloading off of the cell phone providers' music sites and taking that music out of your cell phone and actually plugging it into your Sansa e200."

SanDisk…doesn't expect to knock Apple off its perch as number one in the digital music business…. but the new players…with prices starting at 180 dollars…may help its market share to grow even more. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.