Creative Declares War on Apple

Creative, makers of one of the first portable hard disk-based music players, is ready to launch an ambitious marketing campaign in an effort to take on market leader Apple Computer. The company has announced plans to spend $100 million next year to market its MP3 players worldwide. "The MP3 war has started, and I'm the one who has declared war," Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo said at a briefing last week. The latest statistics, which relate to the first half of 2004, show Creative holding 30 percent of the global MP3 market compared to 17 percent share by Apple, although Apple had a 92 percent market share of players with hard disks. Creative makes a wide range of MP3 devices, from small flash-based devices to hard disk-based products, including its newly released Zen Micro player. The company hopes the new campaign will help raise its profile in the fast-growing market and estimates that the industry will ship 30 million MP3 devices this year and more than 60 million in 2005. Apple's marketing is certainly tough to compete with, but we hope Creative's new plan helps expose more people to MP3 player alternatives and increase competition. Competition is good

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