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Dell drops out of HDD MP3 player biz

Took a month for anyone to notice...

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Dell has dropped its line of hard drive-based MP3 players, but it's taken more than a month for anyone to notice. The absence of the Pocket Digital Jukebox players from Dell's website was spotted last week by Bloomberg. The news agency asked Dell about it and learned the products were canned late December/early January, it reported.

"We saw an opportunity to streamline and consolidate our portfolio," a Dell spokesman said. "We made a decision to transition from the hard-drive products to Flash players at the beginning of this year."

It's not hard to see why: Apple continues to dominate the market. In the US, it has a market share of around 70 per cent. Creative and Samsung have under ten per cent apiece, so there's not much left for all the other player providers, of whom there are many, Dell among them.

Last year, Japan's Olympus said it was getting out of the digital music player market, as did D&M Holdings, the parent of MP3 hardware pioneer Rio. iRiver is believed to have pulled back its European marketing operation back to South Korea in the face of the cost of competing with the likes of Apple and Samsung.

But Dell's not leaving the market entirely. It's focusing its efforts on its $99 512MB DJ Ditty Flash-based player. The unit features a 1in, 96 x 32 LCD and a built-in 300mAh rechargeable battery capable of delivering up to 14 hours' continuous music playback. There's an on-board FM tuner, too. ®

dell dj ditty 512mb mp3 player

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