Creative Technology Ltd. took aim squarely at Apple Computer Inc.’s market-leading iPod during presentations at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV. Presenters at Creative’s booth mocked the iPod mini, while boosting the features of its competing Zen product line.
Apple and reviewers have lauded Apple’s scroll wheel iPod interface since its introduction, but Creative feels they have a better approach to navigating an MP3 device.
“The Zen moves the way you do,” said one of Creative’s presenters. “When you go to a Web page you don’t want to go around in circles like the iPod mini do you? No, you move up and down. When you navigate the Zen, you move the same way.”
The presentation went on to mock the iPod’s lack of removable batteries, while trumpeting the purported 12-hour battery life of the Zen.
In November, 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.
A Creative Technology Ltd. spokesperson said the releases and updates at CES are part of that marketing war.
“It is definitely part of the campaign,” the Creative spokesperson told MacCentral. “We are going out hard with the Zen.”
The new flash media-based 1GB Zen Micro will be released in the first calendar quarter of 2005 for US$199. In addition, 4GB and 6GB models are coming this month for $229 and $299.99, respectively. With the new models, add-on accessories and pricing, Creative feels they have what it takes to battle with Apple.
“We have the line-up and price-point to spark interest in our players,” said the spokesperson.