Having watched Creative Pacific join its portable digital audio player space recently with the launch of its Nomad product (see ARN June 9, page 40), Diamond Multimedia has slashed the prices of its Rio PMP300 player.
Priced at $499 when it was launched last year, the Rio was reduced to $399 in an effort to grab more sales and will now be sold with the estimated retail price of $339. Creative's Nomad MP3 player starts at $499.
Diamond Multimedia's Australian and New Zealand country manager, Pieter Vanderschaar, said that Diamond has pioneered the market in establishing portable MP3 players as a viable product.
"The Rio really has led the way for a new market in MP3 players," Vanderschaar said. "Since it was launched we've seen a gradual month-on-month increase in sales which has definitely been helped along by the price reductions of recent months."
Vanderschaar also pointed out how this new price point will help to further develop the market for digital audio. As the technology becomes less expensive and the penetration of computers into homes increases, component and peripheral manufacturers will dedicate more research and development funds to producing products which suit market demand.
About the size of an audiocassette, the players have the capacity to store up to 60 minutes of music or eight hours of voice via a PC. Software to convert CDs to MP3 is included and additional storage capacity can be loaded via flash memory upgraded cards.