SanDisk: 'You can't out-iPod the iPod'

SanDisk, the makers of the Sansa line of media players, has admitted that "You can't out-iPod the iPod,". In a tell all interview the CEO of SanDisk, Eli Harari, tells of their former strategy for the media player market including his idea of running "iDont" advertisements citing that iPods were for those who only followed a crowd.

Unfortunately for SanDisk the iPod fad never died out, in fact, it remains so strong that even goliath Microsoft is having a hard time making a dent in the market share that Apple commands. Even though SanDisk sold products that had more features for less money it was never able to acquire the image that Apple was able to develop with the iPod. The classic white ear buds with a solid white mp3 players was indicative of Apple, if it was white then everyone knew you had an iPod.

SanDisk was able to make some ground with its Sansa line of products, it proved that flash based storage was the best medium for such devices and Apple did follow Sansa down this path.

Other than media players SanDisk's main product is flash based storage; this market is not as strong as one would hope in the exploding market. During the holiday season SanDisk lost 500 million dollars because the price (along with the economy) crashed.

SanDisk will not be leaving the market as it is firmly in the #2 position of media players sold but no longer competes directly with the iPod; "Sansa remains a niche low-end device selling for about $99".

Sometimes a product with more features is not always going to win the consumer battle. The gurus at Apple built up a brand with an image that can not be matched by many companies in the world; iPod is to music players as Coke is to the beverage industry.

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I'm so sick of everything with i in front of the name, cars with i in there model name just because you can hook up an mp3 player HOW LAME, Creative were making players before ipod even existed, If creative had spent as much money on brainwashing as Apple then perhaps there products would be number 1, I think they thought the community would be lead by quality not a stupid name, I mean wtf does the i stand for anyway, kinda like cigarettes everyone knows there no good but they still buy them anyway.

My own mother keep referring to mp3 players as ipod's, in fact she thinks ipod means mp3 player, I told her she couldn't be more insulting and that ipod's are fad rubbish, my Creative ZEN is in another league when It comes to quality, I've dropped it loads of times and thanks to the aluminum casing it continues to blast out the beats 5 years later.
A mate killed his ipod on the fist decent drop, CHEAP!

All I can say is that there are just too damn many suckers in this world. Proof that premium marketing tactics can sell even the biggest piece of crap for way too much money.

While iPods seem ok, I would never get one as I don't won't want iTunes. I organise my music myself and I don't want itunes corrupting it into it's screwed up system of storing music. Also I want to be able to copy anywhere onto and off the player, I don't want to be 'synced' into only one machine... (I know there are ways around this, but that is too much effort)

Ok, so Im not a fan of iTunes either - but it isn't because of any music storing issue. I'm not quite sure why you think there IS an issue - iTunes stores music the same way as any other (normal) app - ie however YOU want. Music can be left with a non-standard naming convention, of you so choose, or you can have it automatically name each file according to the song name (eg. "the thing that should not be.mp3"), in a folder named sensibly after the album or band or whatever. Sure, the i*POD* stores its music funny, but seeing as how you have no need to access the files on the device, who cares??
The reason I ditched iTunes was because with a large mnusic library the application became a little laggy at times, especially scrolling through the library. No doubt on a faster machine with a little more ram this might not be a problem. However, Windows Media Player (11) seems to run fine with the same library, has pretty much the same features, and sychs my ipod just fine using x-play (which also allows you to "drag-n-drop" files on your ipod, as others above have expressed dismay at being unable to do).
I must stress - there is NO effort used on my behalf - plug in my ipod, it synchs a random playlist, as well as a specific one with songs I REALLY like, and when I leave I just grab my fuly charged DAP full of interesting sounds and hit the road. Not a single click, drag (or drop) or anything else required. Simple.

The Zune HD will be my next DAP... if only Microsoft could create it in such a way as to expose it to the huge PocketPC/Windows Mobile software community that would make it a real "Killer Product" this year, but I don't think they will.

Would be pretty damned nice, however...

Me and my wife have Sansa players. I have the Clip and she has a bigger one that plays back video and has the SDHC slot.
Great little players, and very affordable. I think my Clip was around $30, and is probably comparable to the $99 iPod. Certainly more functionality than the $50 iPod.

I purchased them at Best Buy, and there was even a Sandisk employee there trying to promote them.

I wanted something cheap that played MP3s and I could listen to FM radio on.

Apple's just going to come out with their own OLED device at a higher resolution, and their tag line will probably be "True HD in your hand" as a burn on Zune

Even though SanDisk sold products that had more features for less money....a solid white mp3 players was indicative of Apple, if it was white then everyone knew you had an iPod.

That is why iPods are considered status symbols for teenagers. I prefer my iAudio since it has far more features and costs less but I have to give up the "cool" identification tag (oh, darn!)

It's not only about the status symbol, its also about ignorance. Many people think it's the best product to get just because everyone else has them. I'm not saying this about the iPod touch, since it has advantages over the other mp3 players.

C_Guy said,
Even though SanDisk sold products that had more features for less money....a solid white mp3 players was indicative of Apple, if it was white then everyone knew you had an iPod.

That is why iPods are considered status symbols for teenagers. I prefer my iAudio since it has far more features and costs less but I have to give up the "cool" identification tag (oh, darn!)


Wait, I thought you were fully against products that started with 'i'?

hotdog963al said,
Enjoy your inferior library navigation


Inferior *how*? You can use iTunes with non-iPod music players (in fact, you can use iTunes with MP3s); however, you *must* convert MP3s to AAC format to play them back on an iPod.

However, unless you are using the iTMS or using iTunes to rip your music OR playing said music on OS X, there are better alternatives usability-wise to iTunes (even for Tiger/Leopard; for file move/copy operations, what the heck's wrong with using Finder directly?).

i dont buy any player that i cannot Rockbox, save Sandisk's 8GB Clip v2 - which is my current EDC (every day carry). it's not that i don't like iPods, it's that i don't like Apple and its lock-in policies for everything they produce - thanks, but no thanks. long live royalty free Vorbis & Foobar2000!

Leon

Even though SanDisk sold products that had more features for less money it was never able to acquire the image that Apple was able to develop with the iPod.

Well, some nice features of the iPod nano arent there in Sandisk's products.
One advantage that Apple has is the fact that Apple manages to produce great software (because they are in the software market and they waste more time with software and looks than the underlying hardware) .

If you open an iMac, you'll notice two speakers, one on each side:
http://blog.800hightech.com/wp-content/upl...-front-side.jpg

Other manufacters would care more about the hardware, but in the end if you don't have great software, what's the hardware for?

Ha ha ha, yeah, "great" software.

Or, you could use an MP3 player that allows drag & drop. The only software I need for my player is Windows Explorer. No DRM crap, no lock-in.

But that's just my preference

C_Guy said,
Ha ha ha, yeah, "great" software.

Or, you could use an MP3 player that allows drag & drop. The only software I need for my player is Windows Explorer. No DRM crap, no lock-in.

But that's just my preference ;)

DRM, what DRM? :p
Drag & drop can be useful at times, but having the software copy them for you is nicer. No need to keep track of my new pictures, music, video, podcasts, etc... it's just there.

But that's just my preference

C_Guy, I honestly prefer the automatic syncing of iTunes. I use iTunes to buy my music, all of my music is already there. When I charge my phone, I don't need to worry about "dragging and dropping" the music onto it. It just goes there. And vice versa when I buy music on the phone.

And no, I don't have any lock in with DRM.

Ricmacas said,
Well, some nice features of the iPod nano arent there in Sandisk's products.
One advantage that Apple has is the fact that Apple manages to produce great software (because they are in the software market and they waste more time with software and looks than the underlying hardware) .

If you open an iMac, you'll notice two speakers, one on each side:
http://blog.800hightech.com/wp-content/upl...-front-side.jpg

Other manufacters would care more about the hardware, but in the end if you don't have great software, what's the hardware for?

By great software, are you talking about, hmmm, iTunes? Each to his own taste, but I find that it is an absolute piece of garbage. It is bloated and requires massive memory usage; it's unacceptable for a music player software. Try foobar2000 for a change... it is extremely customizable and has a small footprint... aaaand does exactly the same thing. Wait... no... it doesn't give you access to the iTunes store >_

Built-in speakers was because they don't care about the hardware, except the looks.

And the great software... I was mentioning the MP3 software (inside the iPod?). If you ever used other MP3, you know how ugly the graphics are. And no i wasnt mentioning iTunes at all. I mean, any other hardware company produces crappy software compared to Microsoft's and/or Apple's MP3s.

I love how you guys misunderstood me, when I was actually bashing Apple with the built-in speakers, that look like a pair of normal speakers stuck inside a screen. Ugh.

Kirkburn said,

Wow, a monitor with in-built speakers. Groundbreaking.

(I don't even get why you mentioned it)


Especially since such monitors have been also available for the PC, such as the Acer H233H. However, the trend that followws is simple - speakers built into monitors (no matter what brand of monitor you buy) usually sound lousy.

Don't get me wrong; Apple does make great, if pricey, displays. (Just as Acer makes great non-pricey displays.) But speakers inside a monitor cabinet invariably lead to audio compromises that make such speakers a very bad bet.

Apple Cinema Display 24: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB382LL/...&mco=Mjc5MTYwMQ

Acer H243H (bigger brother if the H233H.bmid that I mentioned): http://us.acer.com/acer-v2/product.do?link...wrAjaxHistory=0

ffs the iPod is a good product... get over it.

if people were just after image, then those gold-plated nokias that get released every year or so would be huge hits - but they're not.


the ipod is a good product - yes, it is a little pricey, but that's the niche it's found.

not EVERYONE with an ipod is a sheep - when are you 'hardcore' morons (who think you're cool cos you're 'breaking out of the mould') going to realise that?

^^^uhhh wut? The iPod is [obviously] a good product but ask a handful of people if they know of anything else out there. They might know the zune but their friends don't have it so they have to fit in and get the iPod- end of story.

donBoomy said,
^^^uhhh wut? The iPod is [obviously] a good product but ask a handful of people if they know of anything else out there. They might know the zune but their friends don't have it so they have to fit in and get the iPod- end of story.

Wrong. My friend has a Zune and recently got an iPod Touch for Christmas ... needless to say, he didn't exactly think the iPod would be what it is to him ... that idea was changed when he got it. ;)

I, for one, rarely ever use my iPod for music. I use it every single day for Internet access, though. It's an extremely handy device.

donBoomy said,
^^^uhhh wut? The iPod is [obviously] a good product but ask a handful of people if they know of anything else out there. They might know the zune but their friends don't have it so they have to fit in and get the iPod- end of story.


Here in britain many people know of alternatives to the iPod. A lot of people get by with cheap mp3 players from tesco, argos and curry's.

Justin- said,
Wrong. My friend has a Zune and recently got an iPod Touch for Christmas ... needless to say, he didn't exactly think the iPod would be what it is to him ... that idea was changed when he got it. ;)

I, for one, rarely ever use my iPod for music. I use it every single day for Internet access, though. It's an extremely handy device.


buddy, the iPod "Touch" and regular mp3/video players are two different animals. i understand the difference between the two, which is why i just said iPod. There aren't many devices out there like the iPod touch which helps it's success. Everyone i know who has had the (newer) zune or anything else has absolutely loved it. Believe it or not- trend has a lot to do with apple's success.