It's not easy being No. 2 when No. 1 is Apple's line of iPod music and video players. SanDisk, which holds that slot, is aiming its new Sansa Fuze player squarely at the iPod Nano. The Fuze is competing mainly on price.
Like the Nano, its batteries are not replaceable. The Fuze comes in five colours, compared with Nano's six, though the Fuze has a deep blue choice that iPod lacks. The 4-gigabyte (GB) Fuze at $100 is $50 less than the Nano of the same capacity. The 8GB Fuze sells for $130, compared with $200 for the comparable Nano. (A 2GB Fuze is $80.)
While the iTunes service does not work with the Fuze, the device will download music from other sites such as Rhapsody, Napster, Urge and Yahoo Music. SanDisk says the Fuze will play up to 24 hours on a single charge, but its main advantage over the Nano may be its slot for a microSD flash memory card that can add as much as 8 GB of storage.
That provides an advantage to SanDisk, too. It is the No. 1 maker of microSD cards.
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