Flash memory maker Sandisk Corp. said on Monday that Yahoo Inc. would provide music services for its Sansa Connect digital audio player. Sansa Connect lets users listen to typical MP3 songs, but also has a built-in Wi-Fi wireless communication connection, allowing users to download songs from Yahoo’s service without first linking to a personal computer.
The agreement, whose terms were not disclosed, pairs the Sansa Connect with both free and subscription-based services from Yahoo’s Yahoo Music service. The device, first introduced in January, is now available for sale in the United States, according to Sandisk, which says it is the No. 2 seller in the U.S. of MP3 players, behind Apple Inc.
Hoping to lure shoppers looking for an alternative to Apple’s ubiquitous iPod, Sandisk has won over many consumers with its sleek Sansa line of digital players. But like rival consumer electronics makers Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Sony Corp., the company has found it hard to gain ground against the iPod.
Apple has sold more than 70 million iPods since the product’s introduction in October 2001, and the devices now command more than a 70 percent share of the U.S. market for MP3 players, as they are also known. Sandisk’s new device, which was among several announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, comes as Sandisk’s profit and shares are under pressure from steep declines in flash memory prices for gadgets like cell phones and digital cameras.