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What does Creative's 25 million milestone mean?

How can it close the 75 million gap on Apple?

Crave UK

Good news for fans of Creative--and big numbers--as the company has announced that it has shipped 25 million portable music players. In recent times Creative has given us such gems as the Zen Stone, which impressively challenged the iPod shuffle in both price and sound quality. The Zen Stone Plus, built on it by adding a tiny screen and various other perks.

Its most recent player, the Zen, impressed us with its awesome sound quality, SDHC support, a 16GB capacity option and superb video playback.

To put the announcement in perspective however, Apple, the portable music player market leader announced earlier this year it had sold over 100 million iPods.

Sim Wong Hoo, Creative chairman and CEO, said in a statement, "We believe that we now have our strongest line-up of MP3 and portable media players ever," and that "shipment of 25 million MP3 players marks a major milestone."

But what's next for the company? How can it close the 75 million gap on Apple?

Well, Apple has the hugely capacious iPod classic, which boasts 160GB of storage. We'd love to see a hard-disk version of the Zen, though we doubt this will surface. Creative's inclusion of SDHC support is certainly its answer to higher capacity demands, and with 16GB SDHC cards on the horizon, we understand the reasoning.

Apple acknowledged with the iPod touch that people want big ol' screens on their portable devices, and wireless connectivity too. Will Creative's next 25 million players include touch-sensitive, wireless-enabled Zens? We sure hope so.

(Source: Crave UK)