Android-based Creative Zii Egg gets official

Creative announces the details of its Zii Egg touch-screen, portable media player, running Google's Android operating system.

Donald Bell Senior Editor / How To
Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.
Donald Bell

Photo of the Zii Egg touch screen portable media player.
The Creative Zii EGG in all its Android-loving glory. Zii.com

We knew Creative was up to something when that Zii Egg FCC application flew past us earlier this month, but we had no idea it would be this awesome, or this confusing. Turns out the Zii Egg (what an unfortunate name) is a multitouch-wielding, HD video-playing, dual-camera-having (front and back) rival to the iPhone and iPod Touch, running on Google's Android OS (see all the official specs over at Zii.net).

You can grab a 32GB model now for $400, but don't expect it to be fully baked. Creative is announcing this as a "developer edition" in the hopes that the Android community will pick up the platform and run with it. I guess it takes a village to beat an iPhone.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that we may never actually see the Zii Egg released to consumers as an official Creative product. The company is looking to sell rebranded Zii Eggs directly to other manufacturers as an OEM product.

For a company that's been trickling out half-hearted products all year, it seems odd that Creative would make something with such unprecedented appeal, only to lob it to open-source developers and slap someone else's name on it. Then again, maybe it's smart enough to know it has made a product that's potential is beyond Creative's capabilities to execute. If this thing ultimately becomes a phone (all the ingredients are there) Creative is likely just being cautious about entering the mobile phone market as a newcomer.

(Via DAP Review)