iPOD Shuffle Clone

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
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iPOD Shuffle Clone

The LuxPro Super Shuffle is a digital audio player from a Taiwan based company. Similar in looks and function to the Apple iPOD Shuffle (news) it adds an FM music player but lacks the famous apple AAC support. Instead it supports the Windows Media digital rights management format or DRM.

The LuxPro Super Shuffle (photo taken from site)

Apparently Apple, unhappy with the similar look and name of the new “Shuffle clone,” asked the Asian company to remove the sleek white clone from the CeBIT event. The company complied for a while and then resumed the display. One wonders if Apple has the right to stop this new company and others from developing similar looking products. Apple is a fairly litigious company and they seem to have a high success rate so perhaps this is just another situation where they will prevail.

In my opinion the shuffle isn’t such a unique looking product and will be difficult to protect. Then again the photos do look identical. Sony had an MP3 player (It played songs in the weird Sony format whose name I forgot) a while back that looked somewhat similar to the Shuffle and let's be honest… The shuffle doesn’t do much. It looks like a pack of gum and is virtually function free. Where is the display for heaven sakes? Only Apple could spin a device with almost no functionality into a must have device. Hats off to the company’s CMO.

The regular iPOD and Mini on the other hand may look more unique. Bearing all this in mind, adding an FM tuner to the device actually increases its functionality by an order of magnitude. I am curious to see if Apple will be able to keep other manufacturers from emulating its designs in international court. What do you think? Are these devices similar enough to cause confusion?

The iPOD Shuffle (photo taken from site)

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