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Sandisk unveils 8GB Flash MP3 player

Big anti-Nano price cuts too

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Updated Sandisk will today introduce an 8GB Flash-based digital music player, launching the device ahead of the anticipated roll-out of an 8GB iPod Nano from Apple. Sandisk will also slash its prices, it has been claimed.

The 8GB Sansa e280 will retail in the US for around $250 - the same price as the 4GB Nano. Sandisk currently offers a 6GB player, the e270, for $280, suggesting that machine will come down in price when the e280 ships.

SanDisk_Sansa_e250_headphones

Sandisk's 4GB player, the e260, is already $20 cheaper than the same-sized Nano. Yet it hasn't dented Apple's US market share. For the first six months of 2006, Apple took 76.6 per cent of the US retail MP3 player market, compared to number two placed Sandisk's 8.9 per cent.

Rumours that Apple is preparing to launch - possibly in the current quarter - higher capacity Nanos have been flying since February.

The 2GB e250 now retails for $140, the e260 for $180 and the e270 for $220.

Like the existing e250, the e280 will incorporate a memory card slot to boost its storage capacity further, and we're hearing whispers that the company is planning to launch a device designed to make it easier to get non-music content onto its players via memory card. Since Sandisk's real business is selling memory cards, this makes sense, and it could do a lot worse than offer a product like Neuros Audio's MPEG 4 Recorder... ®

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