By Richard Menta 8/5/03
Taking a cue from the success of the Apple iPod, computer maker Gateway has decided to release its own digital music portable.
Logically, this makes a bit of sense. The computer industry is witnessing a terrible price war where a starter HP desktop runs about $300. The iPod also starts at $300 for the 10GB unit and goes up to $500 for the 30GB unit.
Profit margins are significantly larger for these players too and the iPod owns about half of the growing MP3 portable market. The PC market has leveled off if not stagnated. Manufacturers like Gateway are looking to relatively new electronic product lines for both growth and improved profits.
But the Apple iPod set a new standard for a digital music portable by lowering dimensions and weight of a jukebox portable without decreasing capacity. There seems little groundbreaking about the Gateway Digital Music Player.
Gateway's first MP3 device chooses not to go after the iPod directly with a hard drive-based model. Instead they will release this month a flash-based player in two flavors, 128MB for $129.99 and a 256MB version for $169.99. No doubt these units will be bundled with Gateway PCs to give the units a leg up in an already crowded flash portable field.
A hard-drive based model is on the way, though, according to Gateway's director of digital audio Rick Griencewic.
"It takes a little bit longer to develop a hard drive player," said Griencewic. "We saw this as an easy way to get on the scoreboard early."
The Gateway Digital Music Player is very similar in size and utility as Creative's Nomad Muvo. It weighs in a 1.5 oz and also dubs as a voice recorder and USB storage device. Like the MuVo, the Gateway Digital Music Player has a built-in USB connector, users just plug the entire unit into the USB slot on their PC. According to Gateway, the player delivers over ten hours of playback from a single AAA battery.
MP3newswire.net will run a review of this player when units become available for test.
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