Take a good look at that image. Now realize that this 1GB flash media player costs only $40. Seeing the word Zen branded on these little devices tells you that they are part of the Creative Zen line of a wide variety of media players. And like many of Creative’s products, it does what Apple’s products do at a drastically reduced price. Apple’s Shuffle, which does the exact same functions (play music files randomly w/o an LCD screen), costs $80 (double the Zen Stone).
The Zen Stone exemplifies my main problems with Apple’s products and their pricing schemes. Apple is able to charge ridiculous prices for ordinary products employing technology that has been available for years. There is no use trying to deny that their marketing and PR departments are probably the best in the world, but I still don’t think that their products justify their prices. Paying more for an inferior product isn’t cool, though it might be fashionable.