LAS VEGAS, NV -- Creative announced new versions of its Zen Micro MP3 player at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV on Thursday. The company is adding 1 gigabyte flash memory model, as well as 4GB and 6GB models powered by micro drives. The companyis new models add to the 5GB model already on the market, and strengthen its position against market-dominating Apple with its iPod.
"Since we first shipped the Zen Micro 5GB model in November, we have experienced tremendous demand and sold out in many locations," said Sim Wong Hoo, chairman and CEO of Creative, in a statement. "To meet this overwhelming demand we plan to increase our production capacity significantly this quarter. At the same time, we have introduced a variety of prices and capacities for the Zen Micro: a 1GB flash memory-based model for only $199 and a 4GB model for only $229, which has twice the song capacity of the iPod mini and far more features for a lower price. We even introduced a Zen Micro with 6GB capacity that can hold more than 3,000 songs."
Despite Sim Wong Hoois claims to the contrary, the capacity of the 4GB Zen Micro is actually the same as the capacity of the 4GB iPod mini.
Creativeis Zen Micro digital media devices support MP3 and Windows Media Audio format, but are not available for the Mac. The company, one of the first to enter the hard drive digital media device market, has struggled to gain market share against Apple since the introduction of the iPod in 2001.
The Zen Micro line has been a big part of the companyis strategic fight against Apple, and Creative offers the 5GB model in 10 different colors, and includes features like an FM radio turner and a built-in voice recorder not found in Appleis iPod line.
Several Wall Street analysts have been advising their clients in recent months that Apple intends to enter the low-end market for these devices with a flash memory iPod. Appleis policy is to not comment on unannounced products.
The 1GB model of the Creative Zen Micro will be available in the first quarter of 2005 for only US$199.99. The 4GB model, available later this month, is priced at only $229.99. The 5GB Zen Micro is currently available for $249.99. The 6GB model will be available later in January for $299.99.
The company has not yet added information about the new devices to its Web site, but is showing them at CES in its booth.