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Laugh if you will – the creator of the NOMAD hasn’t been competitive in the marketplace in the last handful of years, but this year may mark a turnaround for the beleaguered company. The Zii EGG represents the first significant engineering push which Creative have taken since their glory days around the turn of the millenium. On paper, the new player is an iPod touch killer, however, unlike other iPod touch killers, Creative haven’t betted the farm on hardware alone.
Their platform is based on Google’s Android – a platform which is destined to give the iDevice a run for its money. Creative cannot write software, standing on Google’s back, they may be be given a second chance at influencing the portable market.
The jump from 32GB to 64GB in the newer iPod touch models means more than just a new-found ability to squeeze the rest of your audio library into the palm of your hand. It means that some poor sod from pathetically nourished countries like American, China, Germany, and Japan will have to go without – flash memory that is. Even the world’s biggest electronics company whose GDP outweighs the country of Argentina is carefully counting its chips. Samsung will be shipping fewer memory modules to non-Apple companies in the coming months, and in anticipation of the China Unicom/Apple deal which will bring the iPhone to China, Apple are sure to be more voracious than ever.
Fans of technology love the release of new gadgets, especially touch-screen, 3D capable, SDK-toting mobile app powerhouses which also incidentally, play music. Wait,outside of mobile phones, there is currently, only one device like that, the iPod touch. Sure, a slew of lookalikes have emerged from China and will continue in single-line forever over distant horizons. Some are actually quite good. But, aside from them, there have been too few wannabes. Creative’s Zii Egg gets honourable mention, but considering its market potential, there won’t be a proper iPod touch rip-off competitor until Microsoft’s Zune HD actually hits shelves.