Sony Launches iPod Touch Clone, Calls it a "Walkman"
Officially, Sony is attempting to capitalize on its heritage by calling the device -- the F800 -- a "Walkman." According to AllThingsD, the small handheld unit features a 3.5-inch touch screen and runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), enabling users to take advantage of everything that Google Play (NASDAQ: GOOG) has to offer. In essence it is a pocket-sized Android tablet. The only thing missing is the ability to make phone calls, but a Skype app should be able to help with that.
In its press release announcing the new product, Sony said that the device will feature an integrated S-Master digital amplifier, which "greatly reduces noise levels and distortion along with additional audio technologies to create an enriched music experience." The Walkman F800 also gives users access to Sony's cloud-based music service, which offers ad-free streams for $3.99 to $9.99 a month. Users can also import their iTunes playlists.
NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) is supplying a Tegra 2 dual-core processor for the device, allowing consumers to play a host of Android games on the new Walkman.
Sony has announced an MSRP of $269 for the base 16GB model, which is much higher than the lowest priced iPod Touch, which sells for $199. Granted, the cheapest iPod Touch only comes with 8GB of memory. Sony is essentially asking consumers to pay $70 more for double the hard drive space.
Sony will also sell a 32GB version of the F800 for $299 -- the same price as the 32GB iPod Touch.
Consumers who want a cheaper and smaller MP3 player can go with the new Walkman E470 Series, which retails for $79 (4GB model), $89 (8GB model), or $109 (16GB model). While the E470 is significantly larger than the iPod Nano, it is also cheaper. Apple currently charges $129 for 8GB iPod Nano, and $149 for the 16GB model.
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