Less than a year ago, direct-marketing, computer-making, product-design-genius powerhouse Dell trotted out tiny, inexpensive DJ Ditty music players to compete with Apple’s entry-level iPod shuffles. About the size of a disposable lighter, the Ditty’s were touted as being compatible with PlaysForSure-savvy services like Yahoo Music and Napster, offered an FM receiver, a one-inch LCD screen, 512 MB of storage, and started off with a $100 price tag which eventually dwindled down to the mid-$50 range.
Well, today Dell spokesperson Venancio Figeroa confirmed that Dell had discontinued the Ditty on August 17, aiming to focus more on its computer, display, printer, and battery replacement—uh, erm, “other core businesses.” If you look carefully, the Ditty is still visible on Dell’s site, but won’t be for long, and Figeroa told the Associated Press its inventory had been sold out, although accessories were still available.
In January 2006, Dell discontinued its line of hard-drive based music players.
Dell’s failure in the MP3 player market can probably be chalked up not only to the overwhelming market share enjoyed by Apple’s iPod line, but also due to Dell’s direct sales model which provided no way for consumers to set hands on a Dell music player without actually buying one.