Has Dell Quit the Fight Against the iPod?

Dell has reportedly decided not to launch any new MP3 players in time for this holiday season. After promising last year an ambitious return in the digital music player market, Michael Dell has so far failed to deliver any new devices this year.

Dell stopped selling its DJ Ditty line of MP3 players back in 2006 and a year later promised it will return with "sexy" new products. But according to the Wall Street Journal, Dell, world's second largest computer manufacturer, will not release yet another iPod competitor this year.

The digital music player market is now dominated by Apple's iPod, with SanDisk and Microsoft lagging at a very distant second and respectively third place. A new offering from Dell isn't likely to make much of a difference, especially without a major marketing push. That is of course, unless Dell comes with something truly innovative.

Back in July, much speculation was about a revamped sequel of Dell's DJ Ditty. The new player was said to be based on software provided by Zing Systems, a startup company acquired by Dell. Zing also provides the platform for some SanDisk music players and for Sirius Stiletto. The player was expected to connect to online music services and cost under $100.

With no new music players in sight anytime soon, Dell's only hope is to gain some revenue off the increased digital music and film sales. The Zing software Dell acquired might be the key for the company's emergence in this market. This software is set to connect a music player (if not Dell's) to a PC in the same way iTunes does.

And if the Zing based app will be compatible with all major music players, Dell could have a winner up its sleeve, and especially if it will be delivered with all the new computers the company sells.

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