SanDisk reportedly will end its now two-year Fuze MP3 product freeze with the refreshed Fuze+ media player that includes a rechargeable battery, 2.4-inch display and FM tuner.
The company will reportedly launch the MP3 player with storage capacities including 4GB, 8GB and 16GB. The device will have a 2.4-inch QVGA screen (320×240 resolution) and will use a rechargeable internal battery to provide up to 24 hours of audio playback with five hours video support per charge.
Storage can also be expanded using microSD and microSDHC, with support for SanDisk’s custom slotMusic and slotRadio memory cards. Both products fly relatively low under the radar, but were met with mild enthusiasm when first announced.
A product announcement and possible MP3 player release dates are rumored for September, but SanDisk hasn’t made an official statement. Pricing information will also be disclosed at a later time.
Prior to shifting focus to solid-state drives and other products, SanDisk was an outspoken critic of Apple, even launching anti-iPod advertising campaigns. The company has released the Sansa Clip+ and a few other upgraded products, but become noticeably quiet in the MP3 market as of late.
The various models of the Apple iPod — which control the MP3 market — receive the most amount of attention, but Microsoft, SanDisk, and other select companies attempt to remain competitive. I’ve owned numerous iPods over the years, but have also owned several models from other manufacturers — and will continue purchasing products away from the iPod line when I see the need.
The new Sansa Fuze+ isn’t going to suddenly upset the iPod, but SanDisk must have seen a chance for success if it decided to go to market with a new MP3 player. iPod rivals must be cheaper and include different features than the iPod, but there is still room for other select products in such a large market.