updated 09:10 am EDT, Mon August 21, 2006
SanDisk 8GB Flash Player
Since the introduction of the iPod nano, one of the greatest challenges for digital audio player manufacturers has been to secure special deals for flash memory. The iPod nano would not have been possible without large discounts from Samsung. Of rivals to Apple, SanDisk has a distinct advantage as a flash memory manufacturer itself: it can dictate its own prices and thus increase capacity sooner than most others. This benefit has been validated by SanDisk's latest audio player. The Sansa e280 is the world's first 8GB flash player, the company said in its announcement today. Functionally, the 8GB version is identical to the smaller-capacity e200-series models that helped the company claim second place in the digital audio player market. It includes FM tuning and recording, a microSD slot for extra storage, video playback, and voice recording. At an official price of $249, the e280 is priced equally to Apple's current 4GB iPod nano model and is expected to ship in mid-September, potentially in advance of a widely expected iPod nano update.