Sony Introduces the VAIO Pocket to Rival iPod 
Home Theater News Music Servers/MP3 Players News
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Tuesday, 18 May 2004

Sony has introduced a new digital music player called the "VAIO pocket" which has a hard-disc drive capable of storing approximately 13,000 songs.

Along with the introduction of new VAIO computers, Sony introduced this digital music player, which can also store digital camera images. If connected to a digital camera, the "VAIO pocket" can display pictures on its 2.2-inch color liquid crystal display (LCD) screen.

The "VAIO pocket" is Sony's first portable music player with an embedded hard-disk drive. Sony has been a large player in portable music ever since the introduction of the Walkman 25 years ago, but currently the Apple iPod, which has around 50 percent of the market, dominates digital MP3 music players.

The "VAIO pocket" has a 20-gigabyte (GB) hard drive, and is priced at about 53,000 yen ($465). Compare this to the top of the line iPod, which has a 40 GB hard drive that can store around 10,000 songs, and sells for $499. A cheaper version of the iPod, called the "iPod mini" has a 4 GB hard drive and sells for $249.

Recently, Sony's Aiwa brand debuted eight new MP3 music players, six of which use flash memory, and two use hard disk memory. The Aiwa brand was acquired by Sony in 2002, and Sony Chairman Nobuyuki Idei hopes to use Aiwa for a multiple brand strategy in digital music players, so there are several products at different price levels for consumers.

The player hits stores in Japan in June. Currently, overseas lauch dates have not been specified.

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