“Apple’s iPod MP3 player was one of the hottest gifts during the past holiday season. Driven by a hip marketing campaign and bolstered by Apple’s Music Store, the word ‘iPod’ has become synonymous with MP3 players; and its smaller, limited and cheaper Shuffle model unveiled last week will likely serve to solidify Apple’s lead,” Don Lindich reports for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “But as the recent 2005 Consumer Electronics Show demonstrated, it is a much more competitive marketplace.”
Lindich reports, “Leading the pack were two entries from Olympus’ new m:robe line. The m:robe 500 offers a large, high-resolution touch-screen display used for controlling the unit and viewing photographs, which are either downloaded from a PC or taken with the m:robe’s built-in 1.22 megapixel digital camera. Photographs can be automatically mixed with audio tracks to create music videos you can view as you listen.”
“At the same $499 price point of Apple’s iPod Photo, the m:robe 500 offers a much larger display and greater functionality, albeit with a smaller hard drive and larger physical dimensions that make it hard to carry in a pocket. The m:robe 500 offers 20 GB, vs. the iPod’s 30 GB, an advantage for Apple. Even with its smaller hard drive, serious digital photographers are likely to make the m:robe 500 their player of choice by virtue of its large, colorful display,” Lindich reports. “The $249, 5 GB m:robe 100 compares with Apple’s iPod Mini while offering 25 percent more hard drive capacity. The m:robe 100 is one of the most attractively styled MP3 players available with a smooth, black finish that makes it look like the monolith from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.'”
“After a hiatus of many years, Olympus will once again advertise during the Super Bowl — specifically to promote the new m:robe line, demonstrating the depth of its commitment to this new product category,” Lindich reports.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: We require some actual proof before we’ll swallow Lindich’s statement that “serious digital photographers are likely to make the m:robe 500 their player of choice by virtue of its large, colorful display.” Lindich’s mistaken assertion that Apple’s iPod photo offers 30GB for $499 doesn’t inspire much confidence in his reporting skills. Apple’s iPod photo comes in two sizes: a 40GB model, available for $499, and a much larger 60GB model that sells for $599. And, the Olympus bath…, err, m:robe won’t directly play songs purchased from the world’s market-dominating online music store, Apple’s iTunes Music Store, either. Do you think Olympus’ m:robe Super Bowl ad will mention that fact?