Gene Munster and Michael Olson of Piper Jaffray donit think the MP3 players that debuted at CES will offer much competition for the iPod. Although iPod competitors are improving, they still canit match Appleis form factor, intuitive interface, and "cool factor." The analysts share thier views on the various MP3 player manufactureris products at the expo.
Sonyis NW-A1000 and NW-A3000 were on display, and completely miss the mark, according to Mr. Munster. They feature non-color OLED displays, canit display photos or video, and have an unintuitive user interface. No pricing information was available.
The Sansa e200 product line, which closely resembles the iPod nano, offer some nice features, like an FM radio and microSD expansion slot. The interface is better than many other MP3 players, but not a good as Appleis. The 2GB and 4GB models are priced in line with the nano, and the 6GB is priced higher.
iriver had nothing new to show at CES, instead displaying its U10 devices that have a nice interface, but have limited storage capacity, and high prices.
There were no new announcements from Creative. It shows the previously announced Zen Micro and Zen Vision:M. Mr. Munster feels these products are well designed and easy to use, but wonit gain Creativ the market share it is looking for. Creative will likely change the form factor before the next CES.
The YP-Z5 was introduced at CES, and comes in 2GB and 4GB capacities with a form factor similar to the nano. It may offer a larger screen and longer battery life, but the iPod interface is superior.
The S30 and S60, match the video capable iPodis price and capacity, but offer smaller screens.
Although the various Apple competitors can match some of the iPodis features, they canit hit them all. Until they do, Apple is likely to reign supreme in the portable digital player market.
Piper Jaffray is maintaining its Outperform rating for Appleis stock.
Apple is currently trading at US$74.84 up 0.46 (0.62%).