Creative looks to take on iPod touch in handheld computing realm

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
The newly announced, Android-powered Creative Zii Egg aims to be to the G1 smartphone what the iPod touch is to the iPhone -- a powerful mobile computing platform without the monthly cell phone contract.



Revealed Tuesday, the multi-touch, candy bar-shaped device with a 3.5-inch LCD screen is advertised as being Android-ready and can handle up to 64GB of storage with a SDHC card. It also features GPS and Wi-Fi, can play 1080P video, supports Flash Lite, and has two cameras: an HD video camera on the back, and a VGA camera on the front for video chat.



Clearly envisioned as a competitor to the iPod touch, the device even looks similar to Apple's media player.



For now, the device is only available to developers who are willing to spend $399 on the Plaszma development kit. Creative hopes the platform will catch traction within the developer community, and that a final product will eventually come with a much lower price point.



"This feature-packed Zii Egg comes with a take-no-prisoners price from as low as U.S. $199," said Sim Wong Hoo, chairman and CEO of Creative Technology. "This signifies an integral part of our new strategy moving forward to engage every party in a win-win-win partnership."



The Plaszma platform uses Creative's "StemCell" technology, which uses the ZMS-05 processor. The chip, Creative says, can deliver HD video, as well as 2D and 3D graphics. The Zii Egg is capable of outputting 1080P video to a TV.



The Plaszma SDK will include Opera 9.7, Adobe Flash Lite, a multi-touch user interface, OpenGL ES 3D graphics and more.







As Apple's mobile computing platform across the iPhone and iPod touch continues to grow, the market for traditional iPods -- where Creative has attempted to compete with Apple in the past -- continues to shrink.



While the Zii Egg does feature some things not currently seen in the iPod touch, it is expected that Apple will unveil a new model with a camera this September.



Some analysts see the iPod touch as a low-key, stealthy asset in Apple's product lineup. But at least one estimate suggests the iPod touch carries at least one-third of the iPhone OS marketshare in the U.S.



During last week's earnings call, Apple revealed that there are 45 million iPhone and iPod touch devices in consumers' hands worldwide. Creative does not yet have a date when the Zii Egg could be available to consumers.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 77
    unferthunferth Posts: 18member
    "Stem-cell technology"? My God, Apple is finished, for this thing runs on babies!
  • Reply 2 of 77
    trackertracker Posts: 34member
    If they can come in at a very competitive price then apple will have to make the touch/iphone that much better!



    We all win!
  • Reply 3 of 77
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    So developers are going to leave the iPod/iPhone platform in order to develop for this thing?



    Riiight.



    Looks really familiar, too.
  • Reply 4 of 77
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    google "epic fail". next year you'll find a picture of one of these wannabes...
  • Reply 5 of 77
    wobegonwobegon Posts: 764member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "This feature-packed Zii Egg comes with a take-no-prisoners price from as low as U.S. $199," said Sim Wong Hoo, chairman and CEO of Creative Technology. "This signifies an integral part of our new strategy moving forward to engage every party in a win-win-win partnership."



    Wow, a triple-win partnership. That is a lot of win you've got there.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The Plaszma platform uses Creative's "StemCell" technology, which uses the ZMS-05 processor. The chip, Creative Says, can deliver HD video, as well as 2D and 3D graphics. The Zii Egg is capable of outputting 1080P video to a TV.



    The Plaszma SDK will include Opera 9.7, Adobe Flash Lite, a multi-touch user interface, OpenGL ES 3D graphics and more.



    Quite a mouth full. Zii Egg? Is that pronounced zee, like Wii is pronounced wee? Great words guys. Plaszma paltform, StemCell technology, ZMS-05 processor, Zii Egg...



    In all seriousness though, what's up with an Android device running an Opera browser? What happened to WebKit and Chrome? And in general, I do not understand how the open source community backing Android has continued to turn a blind eye to Google's support of proprietary runtimes like Flash Lite!
  • Reply 6 of 77
    Yeah...they LAID zii egg... Looks like they'll be yet another imitation...
  • Reply 7 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wobegon View Post


    In all seriousness though, what's up with an Android device running an Opera browser?



    It's Android. You can yank out Opera. And Flash.



    Personally, I hope one of these Android non-phones materializes sooner, rather than later. There's a market for non-phone devices and it'll be better off for having competition.
  • Reply 8 of 77
    eyce9000eyce9000 Posts: 13member
    In many ways Creative finally has something that is completely better than Apple's offering. As a portable computing device (and possibly phone) the zii egg is better than the current and probably next ipod touch. Just the thought of being able to develop non-gimped applications without apple's gatekeeper style, while at the same time getting a form factor very similar to the ipod with twice as many hardware features is rather exciting.



    This is what the 3GS should have been.



    Its a shame that it may not get anywhere, because it is impossible to beat Apple in that sector. For once I am rooting for Creative and not Apple.
  • Reply 9 of 77
    "Zii Egg" is nearly OS agnostic and Creative is inviting anybody that wants to, to ship it with their own variant of whatever. This is MSFT's business model in reverse and looks an awful lot like Symbian.



    Symbian was probably the best handset OS on the market until the iPhone was introduced and exposed its great big weakness. There were so many variants of Symbian that developers didn't know which one to develop for, and it was too expensive to develop for them all. That and Symbian's APIs were easy to use.



    For "Zii Egg" to be viable Creative must partner with someone with the clout to establish a new OS on the marketplace. The iPod owns 70% of the market and those users aren't going to switch lightly because of the lack of an iTunes Store equivalent. That leaves a highly fragmented 30% of the market over which to compete. I don't know who that firm would be (seriously).



    This would have been a great competitor to the iPod 5 years ago, but today its requirements for success are too great.
  • Reply 10 of 77
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wobegon View Post


    Wow, a triple-win partnership. That is a lot of win you've got there.





    Quite a mouth full. Zii Egg? Is that pronounced zee, like Wii is pronounced wee? Great words guys. Plaszma paltform, StemCell technology, ZMS-05 processor, Zii Egg...



    Zii egg vill be zii det of Apple.

    Really! It vill.

  • Reply 11 of 77
    eyce9000eyce9000 Posts: 13member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wobegon View Post


    Wow, a triple-win partnership. That is a lot of win you've got there.





    Quite a mouth full. Zii Egg? Is that pronounced zee, like Wii is pronounced wee? Great words guys. Plaszma paltform, StemCell technology, ZMS-05 processor, Zii Egg...



    In all seriousness though, what's up with an Android device running an Opera browser? What happened to WebKit and Chrome? And in general, I do not understand how the open source community backing Android has continued to turn a blind eye to Google's support of proprietary runtimes like Flash Lite!



    If you check, the Opera and Flash support are on Creative's own Linux OS Plazma. The device supports that OS or using Android
  • Reply 12 of 77
    I guess they have decided to be creative and make a whole new type of device that will be easily distinguished from the current ipod touch.
  • Reply 13 of 77
    o and ao and a Posts: 579member
    lol the design of that flyer reminds me of the that msft package design parody.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeXAcwriid0
  • Reply 14 of 77
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    Quote:

    ...can handle up to 64GB of storage with a SDHC card





    SDHC and later SDXC will be the storage medium of choice for nearly all future hand held and computing devices.



    Quote:

    The next-generation SDXC memory card specification, released to members in April, 2009, dramatically improves consumers? digital lifestyles by increasing storage capacity from more than 32 GB up to 2 TB and increasing bus interface speed up to 104 MB per second in 2009 with a road map to 300 MB per second. SDXC's extended capacity will provide more portable storage and speed, which are often required to support new features in consumer electronic devices and mobile phones.



    A 2 TB SDXC memory card could store an estimated 100 HD movies or 480 hours of HD recording or 136,000 fine-grade photos. Faster bus speeds will enable professional-level recording in compact consumer camcorders and increase the number of frames shot in a second with SDXC cameras.



    The faster bus speeds in the SDXC specification also will benefit SDHC, Embedded SD and SDIO specifications.



    http://www.sdcard.org/developers/tech/sdxc





    Of course product design and marketing is clearly superior with Apple than Creative, as Apple as the ability to tie everything together nearly perfectly (glossy screen bitch goes here)





    So even though Creative may have gotten the jump with SDHC, Apple is sure to come out with a SDXC capable device, perhaps the new iPod Touch and/or iTablet hopefully soon.



    I'm thinking SSD is too big and too expensive for Apple's 'thin and sexy' product line.



    But then Apple bought up a few years worth of SSD to get the price down, so perhaps it will take some time to work through this inventory first.



    Bummer.
  • Reply 15 of 77
    [right] At least the Zune HD looks like something out of halo [/right]
  • Reply 16 of 77
    nite41nite41 Posts: 41member
    Welcome to yet another 'i' competitor!



    I am kinda getting tired of each and every company (literally) gunning to unseat the 'i' and take over their thrones.



    In my opinion, few years from now, this Zii will be remembered as one of the valiant brave fighters to take on the 'i' kingdom (in vain)



    All these competitors forget that the main reason why Apple is successful is not because their products are all-superior (there are better products). But the whole 'package' thing is what makes Apple and it's products stand out from the rest of the pack.
  • Reply 17 of 77
    tbehunintbehunin Posts: 55member
    Dual cameras! Man, that's what I've been waiting for Apple to come out with. Mobile video chatting just makes sense. I can't believe it didn't come out with the 3GS. I would be VERY surprised if the iPhone didn't have it in next years model. Now I just have to wait till it happens. Sucks.
  • Reply 18 of 77
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    There is a problem with copying Apple's design.



    Every time someone sees your product (however rare that may be) they'll think it IS an Apple product. You'll be giving Apple free mindshare and publicity instead of yourself.
  • Reply 19 of 77
    hattighattig Posts: 830member
    This does have some good points:



    1) The hardware platform as well as the operating system is available for third parties to use. This means a lot of Zii based players will come from third party manufacturers who would otherwise be really struggling against the iPod Touch.



    2) It'll probably be quite cheap.



    3) Choice of two operating systems gives OEM choice. Android if you're making a Zii phone, the other one if you want something closer to the metal.



    However there is a major pitfall: whilst it is based around ARM, it's not using A8. It's not even using ARM11. It's using ARM9. Two of them, to be fair, but the clock speeds are fairly slow. This device is really using dedicated hardware to the max to achieve things. I think in the near term this will be a big crutch for this SoC design. Or it'll be very cheap.



    Still, it has 256MB, up to 64GB storage, decent screen, decent OS (Android is maturing quite well), and Creative aren't bad at designing this type of device.
  • Reply 20 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eyce9000 View Post


    In many ways Creative finally has something that is completely better than Apple's offering. As a portable computing device (and possibly phone) the zii egg is better than the current and probably next ipod touch. Just the thought of being able to develop non-gimped applications without apple's gatekeeper style, while at the same time getting a form factor very similar to the ipod with twice as many hardware features is rather exciting.



    Only in terms of hardware features (it seems), but that's cool--we all benefit from real competition if that's the case. But it is not *better* than the iPod Touch, because the iPod Touch has Apple's OS X-based mobile 3.0 software in it, which is king, a thriving market of apps, tight integration with iTunes, and the finest selection of mobile software available. They can't package that user experience like Apple can.



    I'm still thrilled to see this.
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