Milpitas, Calif. - SanDisk is upgrading its audio-only Sansa Clip MP3 player lineup with the Sansa Clip Zip, which adds playback of DRM-free AAC files downloaded from the iTunes Store.
The Clip Zip also adds 1.1-inch color screen to display album art and a graphical user interface, whereas its predecessor featured four-line text-only OLED display. Other new features include a stopwatch for exercising and MicroUSB port in a thinner form factor than its predecessor.
The Clip Zip is targeted to consumers whose cellphones play music but who are concerned about damaging their phone or using up its battery life while walking, running or exercising, said Tom Bailey, AV business senior director.
The Clip Zip, which becomes available in stores today, is available in a 4GB version at a suggested $49.99 and an 8GB version for a suggested $69.99. The current 4GB and 8GB audio-only Sansa Clip Plus, available since August 2009, will remain in the lineup but will be repriced down from current $49.99 and $69.99 suggested retails.
The Clip Zip and Clip Plus both offer FM radio, voice recording, MicroSDHC card expansion slot, rechargeable battery delivering 15 hours of music listening, clip to secure the device to clothing while running or walking, and compatibility with multiple major music, audio book and podcast formats, including MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, and Audible files. Like its predecessor, the new model has also been tested to work optimally with the eMusic, Napster and Rhapsody download services. The first two offer purchased and subscription downloads, and the third offers subscription downloads.
The Clip Zip weighs a little more than half an ounce and is about the same size as a matchbox, at 2.25 inches by 1.42 inches by 0.58 inches. It's available in a greater variety of colors.
SanDisk lays claim to being second in U.S. MP3 and MP3/video player market share in units and dollars in 2010 and for the year-to-date. The company's Fuze Plus lineup of MP3/video players, launched last August, is available in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB versions at respective suggested retails of $69.99, $89.99 and $119.