The Korean press runs stories about Korean MP3 player companies complain about the price-cut Samsung gave Apple for the flash memory used in the iPod nano.
Samsung says that they did not give an unusual deal to Apple. They just adjusted the price based on the volume Apple was able to purchase.
Reigncom (iRiver) is quoted on Chosunilbo: "We can hardly declare a price war with Apple. We’ll counter Apple’s challenge by releasing new concept products."
Well sorry guys, you have to do both. The 2GB iPod nano sells for $199. First of all the choice of 2GB mp3 players or even 4GB flash MP3 players is limited (Is there even a 4GB flash player, besides the iPod nano?). Second, they are about $50 more expensive and are by far not as cool as the iPod nano. So, to compete with the iPod nano, your player needs to be better looking, more features, maybe smaller and cheaper. Even if you have a mp3 player that is as good and as good looking, you need to be cheaper, because of the Apple's iTunes music service and Apple's marketing. I wrote it many times before that I do not understand that all iPod challengers offer their players at the somewhat same price point as Apple, how should that change market shares. Apple pulled a fast one with the iPod shuffle on the Flash player manufacturers. The low-cost and low-tech player just sold like hot cakes and sure made Apple a bundle. But the iPod shuffle has competition and I would prefer the MobiBlu DAH-1500i Cube over the shuffle. What Korean MP3 player can compete with the iPod nano? Any suggestions? If you have a competitor please email me.
Read about the whining on the Digital Chosunilbo and The Korea Times. See also the discussion about this topic on Engadget.
Buy an iPod nano:
Black iPod nano 4GB - $249.99
White iPod nano 4GB - $249.99
Black iPod nano 2GB - $199.99
White iPod nano 2GB - $199.99