Creative Technology Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Sim Wong Hoo told reporters in Singapore his company plans to spend US$100 million in 2005 in a marketing war aimed squarely at Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod. “The MP3 war has started and I am the one who has declared war,” Sim said.
Sim’s comments came at a recent press event to celebrate the release of Creative’s Zen Micro, a 5GB portable music player, according
to a recent Reuters report. Creative in 2005 hopes to displace Apple as the top seller of MP3 players worldwide.
Creative already has a wide array of portable digital music players that use hard disk drives, MicroDrives and flash storage. The company’s players come in a large assortment of form factors and capabilities. Despite that, Creative has suffered as Apple has taken a larger chunk of the digital music market with its iPod and iPod mini devices.
Part of Apple’s iPod success has been thanks to the burgeoning popularity of its iTunes Music Store, whose Digital Rights Management (DRM)-protected files are playable on the iPod but no other portable digital music player. Apple has opened the store in the United States and a dozen European countries, and plans to expand it into Canada sometime this month. Creative has no music service of its own. Unlike the iPod, however, Creative’s players can play back Windows Media Audio (WMA) files sold by many of the iTunes Music Store’s competitors.
“I’m planning to spend some serious money — I intend to out-market everyone,” said Sim.