Apple deserves a great deal of credit for many things, from taking the risk in producing a handset as game-changing as the iPhone to maintaining a brand with such pulling power it can get its biggest fans to buy virtually anything it makes. On the other hand it deserves a swift kick to the tender regions for the iPod shuffle and SanDisk shows us why...
With the formal announcement today of the 8GB Sansa Clip (a model my eagle/lasered eyes spotted back in August at IFA) SanDisk's entry level player now sports four times the storage of Apple's neglected model and, incredibly, at approximately £50 it will sell for virtually the same price as the 'flagship' (I use this term loosely) 2GB shuffle.
Of course storage isn't the only area when the Clip will (continue to) give the shuffle a severe wedgie in front of its peers since it also sports an OLED display, intuitive UI, space for up to 2,000 songs at 256kbps encoding (4,000 if your ears can stand 128Kbps) and beats the shuffle's battery life by 25 per cent to last for 15 hours on a single charge.
Codec support is also greater with MP3, WMA, WAV, Audible audiobooks and Ogg (thanks to a recent firmware update) all on the menu, along with an FM tuner, integrated mic for voice recording and support for subscription services like Rhapsody To Go and Napster. That's a wedgie and the bumps, to be fair...
On sale now, the SanDisk Sansa Clip 8GB also sees its arrival squash 1GB, 2GB and 4GB Clip pricing to a mere £22, £30 and £39 respectively. Yes, Apple deserves a great deal of credit for many things, but should you even momentarily consider a 2GB shuffle over an 8GB Clip you're clearly brain dead so hopelessly devoted to the Apple brand that you really should seek therapy.