Friday, August 19, 2005

More on the Bean

NewsFactor Network takes a look at the newly introduced Sony Walkman Bean. The flash-based MP3 players will come in 512MB and 1 GB versions, offer assorted jellybean-type colors and include a OLED screen and a battery that supposedly last 50 hours on a single charge.

Gartner analyst Michael McGuire said, the Bean "sounds an awful lot like the [iPod] Shuffle; but just being like the Shuffle is no guarantee [of success]. For Sony to succeed, they're going to have to come up with as compelling a link between the store and the device as Apple has," he added.

According to Forrester Research, "Apple currently owns 60 percent of the U.S. market for digital-music players. In global sales, however, Apple has only 36 percent of the market versus Sony's 22 percent."

Can the Bean take a bite out of Apple Shuffle sales worldwide? The Sony brand will definitely help but as McGuire and Jupiter's Nate Elliott note, software and ease of use will be key...