Some disappointing news on the technology front today: SanDisk has decided to postpone the launch of its much anticipated Sansa View player until Q1 2008 pending an extensive overhaul.
Quite why? would be an extremely rational question and the reason is perhaps more noble than you might think: it believes the product to be dated before it even hits the market!
My reaction to this is mixed. To an extent SanDisk has a point, the world+dog is obsessed with touch screen devices right now and to introduce a flagship PMP in this sector without one when you are desperate to challenge Apple in the style kudos stakes isn't a great idea. To be honest, the outer casing didn't really break the mould (sorry) either.
From a more cynical perspective SanDisk only finds itself in this situation because it has been so slow bringing the View to market. Had it been released within a month or two of its original January announcement I'm sure it would have had a dedicated following by now, but six months is a long time in what is one of the fastest moving technology sectors around and expectations change.
Interestingly, SanDisk has yet to officially confirm this decision (though I know it to be correct) despite online retailers like MobilePlanet already updating their listings to state 'Discontinued'.
Speaking personally, I would have liked to see the View released since a late Q1 2008 date for its successor would have still given it a fair period of time in the marketplace. Fair dues however, SanDisk didn't want to put out what it felt to be a substandard product and most manufacturers could learn from its example...
Update: SanDisk has now removed the View from its product listings. A cached page can still be found here