Monday, April 09, 2007

Yahoo & SanDisk Try to Upset the iPod Apple Cart

According to today's Wall Street Journal on page B1, Apple's iPod owns 73.7% of the U.S. retail market for MP3 players -- with the balance being shared by SanDisk (9.0%), Creative (3.3%), Microsoft (2.3%), Samsung (2.2%) and all others.

Yahoo! and SanDisk (with a little help by tiny Zing Systems Inc.) hope to change all that -- as many have before them -- by joining forces and offering a new wireless MP3 player called the Sansa Connect. This new device retails at $250 and hopes to beat Apple at its own game with one primary novel "catch" -- users can download music wirelessly from Yahoo! Music when therby are in a "hot spot" (such as at Starbucks). Will this be enough to upset the iPod Apple cart? Unlikely. Apple still has the significant edge on the "cool" factor with the kids. And no one -- not even Microsoft with a seemingly bottomless war chest for marketing the Zune (which is at a surprisingly low 2.3% in terms of overall market share) -- has yet found a way to do that ...