And now Yahoo wants a piece of iPod

Yahoo has teamed up with Sandisk and start-up Zing to promote a new digital music player with wireless connectivity, reports the Wall Street Journal. The new digital music player will essentially be a special edition of previously announced Sansa Connect that allows consumers to download music wirelessly and without requiring a PC.

The new device is going to cost about $250. SanDisk’s Sansa range has about 9% of the total digital music player market. The tri-party effort is the latest in the long list of attempts by companies looking to take a bite out of Apple’s market share – with limited success, I must add.

The triumvirate believes that a couple of features (wireless connectivity and PC less downloads) can give them a leg up on Apple. If those were must have features, then Microsoft (with Zune), Toshiba and Music Gremlins would have much higher market share. And why hasn’t Apple added similar functionality? Maybe it is just so that consumers are happy with the elegant simplicity of iPod line of music players.

The alliance seems to be a marriage of convenience. Zing, despite the buzz hasn’t exactly proved to be David Wright of Consumer Electronics. And Yahoo, well their music efforts have come in fits-and-starts. The only winner in this deal is SanDisk – it manages to sell flash memory at premium prices instead of being stuck with commodity pricing.

Update: Yahoo Music Blog has posted the details of this new device:

….allowing you to listen to personalized radio, download music, share music with friends over Yahoo! Messenger, and view photos from Flickr, all direct over any Wifi network. Here are a few of the features not shared by either iPod or Zune: