Sony Unveils New F800 and E470 Media Players – Why?

Sony surprised one and all yesterday be revealing a pair of brand new Walkman media players powered by Google’s coveted Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. Of course, neither represents the first media player from Sony to carry Android as its primary OS – rivals including Samsung and Archos has also given some of their media players the Android treatment.

Nevertheless, what makes the launch of the E470 and the F800 rather surprising to say the least is that fact that until now, not a single Android-based media player has ever made it the big-leagues or proved to be anything close to a true success story. Taking a look at the plethora of Android media players that have hit the market before and attracted not so much as a second glance from most, it is difficult not to wonder whether or not the idea itself is pretty much a redundant one.

It doesn’t seem to be working, so why keep flogging the same dead horse?

Sony Unveils New F800 and E470 Media Players – Why?

Dead in the Water

There is of course essentially nothing wrong with either of the above media players and to poke holes in their performance would be unfair. However, it is difficult not to consider both examples complete and utter wastes of time when taking one important factor into consideration – the price tags.

While neither the F800 or the E470 is price ‘unreasonably’ per say, you have to remember that Google has just launched the incredibly well-equipped Nexus 7 tablet for just $199. No matter which way you look at it, the Nexus 7 serves up an infinitely more capable and impressive package than both of Sony’s new media players combined, yet is on the market for around the same price.

Even if playing a simple game of number, the Nexus 7 has a faster processor, newer version of Android, larger screen, more features and so on and so forth. Add into the mix the 600,000 apps the Nexus 7 offers access to and you start to wonder why Sony even bothered in the first place.

The Importance of Apps

Apps are becoming more and more significant when it comes to the decisions consumers make when buying a device. It really is no longer enough to expect anybody to go out and buy the proverbial one trick pony – the global standard has already become all singing, all dancing devices capable of pretty much anything.

The iPod Touch has of course hit the nail on the head by offering exactly that, but at this stage no other device or rival brand has come close – Sony included.

Think about it – are you really going to shell out up to $300 for what is essentially a Walkman when you could instead buy the top-end Nexus tablet and still take home $50 change? No…me neither.

A 3G iPod Touch?

Sticking with the subject however, rumor has it that Apple may be lining up a new range of 3G capable iPod Touch media players, which will for all intent and purposes serve as low-calorie iPhones.

If true, it would appear that at least one big name is actually making advances in taking its media players to new heights and delivering the kinds of features needed to garner consumer attention, rather than offering the same-old ideas re-boxed and re-priced to boot.

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