The high-stakes MP3 player market is set to undergo a video-focused revolution. It seems that to have pretty colour screens and MP3 playback is no longer enough these days: large, bright widescreen video playback is an absolute must for the next generation of players.
It's widely expected that Apple (opens in new tab) will this week launch a new widescreen, touchscreen 6G iPod (opens in new tab) to lead its range. It'll be an iPhone (opens in new tab) but without the phone functionality.
Wojtek Rudko of SanDisk today told Tech.co.uk: "We've revised the concept [of the Sansa View] and I can tell you that it's going towards more portability. The market as a whole is moving towards video players so you'll just have to wait and see what comes from SanDisk in the next few weeks."
On Thursday, Samsung also launched a new range of MP3 players. The YP-P2 player has a large colour wide touchscreen for smooth music listening and spectacular video playback.
The shift towards video playing focus is most likely due to the pressure being put on manufacturers by the mobile phone industry. Most phones are now also MP3 players and so the likes of Apple and SanDisk are having to innovate in order to keep their profits alive.
So for the rest of 2007 and on into 2008, you can expect a swathe of widescreen MP3 players coming to market. And the next time you buy an MP3 product, you might find that you've got a portable video player too.