Give Sony (SNE) credit for trying: The company is set to introduce a new low-end Walkman MP3 player at CES, and SonyInsider reports that it has some cool features:
- The battery goes from dead to 90 minutes of playback on a three-minute charge
- Nice aesthetics, will turn heads.
- No screen, 2GB, estimated retail price $50 to $75. Same ballpark as Apple’s (AAPL) iPod Shuffle, $49 for 1GB and $69 for 2GB.
But here’s the problem: The iPod isn’t just successful because of the hardware, it’s successful because of iTunes and the Apple Store backing it up. With Sony’s deep connections in music, the company should have been well positioned long ago to offer a similar music purchasing service, or at least one as good as Microsoft (MSFT) offers with its Zune.
Without that, Sony has a new product that may give MP3 player also-rans like Creative or Sandisk a scare, but nothing that will stop the iPod juggernaut.