SanDisk Debuts 8GB Flash MP3 Player

SanDisk on Monday launched the largest flash-based MP3 player on the market, an 8GB version of its e2xx model player. At $249 USD, it is the same price as the largest iPod nano, yet twice the capacity. In addition, SanDisk lowered the price of its smaller capacity players to make them price competitive to the nano.

Low prices from SanDisk have catapulted the company more known for its flash card memory products to second place in U.S. MP3 player sales. Although it's 9.7 percent market share in the second quarter was far behind Apple's 75.6 percent share, it was still nearly twice that of its nearest competitor, Creative.

With the price cuts, the 2GB Sansa e250 would sell for $139 USD, $60 less than the 2GB iPod nano. The 4GB Sansa e260 will sell for $179 USD. Even the Sansa e270, a 6GB model, would be $30 less than the 4GB nano at $219 USD.

Since SanDisk produces flash memory itself, the company says it is in a unique position to offer the savings to the consumer. "The most costly ingredient in a flash-based MP3 player is the flash memory," SanDisk marketing director Eric Bone said.

The entire e2xx line is PlaysForSure compatible, and supports MP3 and Windows Media formats. Also included is a microSD expansion slot, photo and video capabilities, FM tuner with recording capabilities, voice recording, and a 1.8-inch color TFT display.

The Sansa measures 1.7 inches wide by 3.5 inches long, and a half inch thick, slightly larger and thicker than Apple's iPod nano.

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