Guardian Unlimited Looks At "All-Conquering" iPod's Competition

The iPod is so popular in the UK, a Guardian Unlimited article by Ashley Norris has likened it to Furby, the must-have holiday toy of 1998, due to the iPodis scarcity in stores. The author writes that now would be a good time for the iPodis competitors to swoop in and make some sales while the iPod is unavailable, but that many consumers see the iPod as the gold standard, with all of the others as little more than also-rans.

The author thinks that this is a rather flawed view of the market, and that there are other good hard drive players out there, looking in particular at the Philips HDD100, the Ministry of Sound MOSMPO28, the Archos AV320, and a few upcoming models. From The Guardian Unlimited:

OK, so we might not have trawled every high street in the land, but almost all the major online retailers (Unbeatable, Amazon, Dabs) had run out of stock of the all-conquering MP3 player and werenit expecting deliveries for around three to four weeks.

Now then would seem an opportune time for Appleis rivals to clean up. The trouble is that in buyers eyes the iPod has set standards in terms of styling, design, and ease of use that none of Appleis rivals seem able to match.

All this is a little unjust as the alternatives to the iPod do have something to offer over Appleis player. We have been playing with a few of the rivals and hereis what we found...

You can read the full article at the Guardian Unlimited Web site.

In the US, the availability issue is substantially better. Checking Amazon, the Apple Store, MacWarehouse, CompUSA (available online and in local stores), ClubMac, MacMall, and BestBuy, all have the iPod listed as available in the US. says its stock is on order, and Dell says that the iPod is currently shipping in 3+ weeks.