Sony Digital Walkman Upstaged by iPod Nano

By Richard Menta 9/9/05

So tell me, if a Sony display falls at a press conference and no one is there to cover it, does it make a sound? That was what happened when Sony introduced its new digital portable players on the same day that Apple took the sheet off of the iPod Nano and the iPod Phone. It seems Sony got lost in the iPod shuffle.

And that is a shame because the new Walkman MP3 players are pretty sleek looking devices. After testing out the PSP a few months back it is of my opinion that Sony is the company who is in best position to steal away a little of Apple's market share. But for all the talk of iPod Killers, the iPod Nano shows that Apple is still one full step ahead of the rest of the pack.

The Sony Walkman NW-A1000

I say that because one of the models Sony introduced, the NW-A1000, aims squarely at the iPod Mini, which Apple discontinued with the intro of the Nano. The NW-A1000 utilizes a 6GB Hitachi microdrive that as of yesterday became "so last year" against the Nano's 4GB flash storage. The Sony NW-A1000 will retail for $271, higher than both the iPod Nano and the iPod Mini it replaced, so they are asking premium pricing for their not-so-obsolete player. The NW-A1000 sports a 1.5" OLED screen and comes in violet, silver, pink and blue.

Sony also introduced the NW-A3000. This player aims for the full sized iPod, which was not discontinued, offering a 20GB hard drive and a 2 inch OLED display. The NW-A3000 is identical in looks to the NW-A1000, but slightly larger and only available in violet and silver.

To round off the new line Sony unveiled its new flash unit offering it in 512MB, 1GB and 2GB flavors. These units are going after the iPod Shuffle and I bet that with the 2GB player Sony thought it may have beat Apple to the punch for high-capacity flash. Instead, it just offers a portable that can somewhat compete with the $199 iPod Nano in capacity, but without a color photo display.

But hey, Sony is still number on in Japan. We'll see if the Sony NW-A3000 can make a dent here in the states when it is released for the Christmas buying season.


The 4GB iPod Nano is available on Amazon

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