Yahoo! to provide music services for SanDisk


NEW YORK -- Flash memory product maker SanDisk Corp. said 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 WiFi 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! Music.

The device, first introduced in January, is now available for sale in the U.S., 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% 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.

The device is expected to sell for about $250 and will be available in Canada in late 2007.