Sansa Connect, the new iPod killer
It looks like SandDisk is not messing around to get its Sansa players out on the market. The flash memory manufacturer presented in fact the Sansa Connect MP3 player over this year’s CES, and it received a lot of positive feedback.
The new player comes with a 2,2 inch TFT color screen, an internal speaker and flash memory instead of hard disks. The really innovative feature, however, is the Wi-Fi connectivity. The Sansa will be able to connect to the Internet from any open wireless hotspot, creating a myriad of new opportunities.
SanDisk is claiming for instance that users will be able to share music and photos, to interact with other users, recommend new stuff, listen to streaming radio over the Internet and the like. Here is a quote from the press release: “the new Sansa Connect will boast innovative Internet capabilities designed to keep music aficionados connected to a wide range of new music via subscription services and streaming Internet radio1 with no PC required. Designed to work with premium Internet services, the flash-based MP3 player will also contain community features for recommending music and photos with the simple click of a button and a “live” Wi-Fi connection.”
Some people are speculating that in the near future a microphone add-on could be included, meaning that the MP3 player could also be used for peer-to-peer VoIP applications. I am not sure whether the Sansa will erode significant market share from the iPod, but its innovative use of Wi-Fi capabilities will certainly raise the bar for rival producers.
The product will be available in March 2007 in the United States and the 4GB version will sell for $249,99.
Reference: SanDisk Press Release