iRiver On The Rocks

Looks like the iPod has killed -- or at least severly wounded -- yet another would-be
Arik Hesseldahl

Looks like the iPod has killed -- or at least severly wounded -- yet another would-be "iPod killer" this week. South Korea's Chosun Ilbo is reporting that Reigncom, the company behind the iRiver brand of MP3 and digital video players is refocusing its efforts on handheld mobile gaming. Certainly those tasteless ads featuring Jenna Jameson didn't exactly help sales. Then again, building MP3 players is a complicated business -- you have to secure a supply of flash memory chips, which Apple has been tying up since last August. It seems to be successful in the business of selling flash memory based MP3 players, you either need to have enough cash to pay for a substantial supply committment from someone like Samsung, Hynix, Toshiba, the new Micron/Intel joint venture, or as is the case with SanDisk, you must own your own captive supply of flash memory.

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