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Strong opinions, weakly held

iPod nano

I have no use for an iPod nano, and yet I want one. It’s sleek, gorgeous, and tiny, and it has a color display. The iPod nano goes for $199 in the 2 gig model and $249 in the 4 gig model. The iPod Mini is no more, being that it is inferior to the iPod nano in every way and costs only slightly less.

The question that immediately sprung to mind was how the iPod nano compares to competing music players. It was then that I realized just how much better Apple’s product line is than Creative’s. Apple has three models, iPod (20 gig or 60 gig), iPod nano (4 gig or 5 gig), and iPod Shuttle (512mb or 1 gig). The form factors and use cases for the players are completely different. If I were buying a music player, I’d have no trouble figuring out which of them I’d like to have.

When I went to Creative’s Web site to do the comparison, here’s what I found:

  • Zen Microphoto — 8 gig capacity.
  • Zen Vision — 30 gig capacity, plays video.
  • Zen Micro — 4/5/6 gig capacity (only $20 less than the iPod nano, much larger, mono display)
  • Zen Sleek — 20 gig capacity
  • Zen — 20 gig capacity
  • Zen Touch — 20 gig or 40 gig capacity
  • Zen Nano — 512mb or 1 gig capacity
  • Jukebox Zen Xtra — 30 gig or 60 gig capacity

You tell me how you decide which of these players to buy? It took me a few minutes to even figure out which of the models listed was the competitor to the iPod nano. Across the board, Creative’s prices are slightly lower than Apple’s, but the machines are a lot uglier and the features aren’t there, either.

Dell’s product line is as simple as Apple’s, and their prices on the high capacity players are much better. But they’re not beating the iPod nano on price right now, and their competing player is larger and doesn’t have a color display. Something tells me we’ll see a price cut from Dell soon.

There’s more to Apple’s success in this market than the cool factor.

Update: Corrected the capacity of the iPod nano.

3 Comments

  1. Actually, Creative has even more models than that — I also found: MuVo Vidz, MuVo Chameleon, MuVo2 FM, MuVo2, MuVo Slim, MuVo Sport, MuVo V200, MuVo TX FM, MuVo TX, MuVo USV 2.0, MuVo NX, and “Digital MP3 Player FX200”

  2. John Gruber makes a similar point regarding Creative’s offerint (i.e. they suck, and there are too many different models):

    http://daringfireball.net/2005/06/shuffling

  3. I can’t believe it, my co-worker just bought a car for $40680. Isn’t that crazy!

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