Nichimen Corp of Japan and NHJ Ltd of Japan introduced new portable audio players from Korea's iRiver Inc, for which the two companies have sole distributorship rights, at their exhibition held in Tokyo.
An aggressive promotion of iRiver products in Japan is planned with an aim to expand its share in the portable MP3 player market from the present 10% to about 20% by the end of 2003. In terms of shipment volume basis, the domestic market in fiscal 2003 is expected to register around 480,000 units, among which iRiver will seek to ship approximately 100,000 units.
The new products announced this time have three different types of recording mediums, and come in a total of seven models. Yet, among all others, at the end of April, iRiver will release in advance a portable audio player with a 10GB HDD built-in, called "iHP-100" in Japan. The HDD is made by Toshiba Corp.
Audio files in MP3, Windows Media Audio (WMA), and advanced streaming format (ASF) can be recorded and played, using the device. It comes with an analog/optical input/output terminal, and audio data entered via the input can be encoded in real time in the MP3 format.
Also, it is equipped with a USB2.0 interface. Operations in general, such as selection of menu and music data, are performed using a 2.3-inch STN liquid crystal panel with 160 x 128 pixels.
The built-in Li-polymer rechargeable battery by Samsung SDI Co, Ltd enables a continuous playback of 16 hours and 30 minutes. It weighs 160g, including the rechargeable battery, and measures 105mm x 60mm x 19mm.
The retail price is expected to be around 50,000 yen. (120.21 yen = US$1)