Creative Takes a Swing at Apple With Zen Vision:M

Creative fired a shot across Apple’s bow yesterday with the launch of the Zen Vision:M media player. The $330 30GB player sports a 2.5-inch, 262,144-color LCD and plays videos in most formats in addition to the usual assortment of audio formats and photos. It also supports TiVoToGo, making it a serious rival for the video iPod. Unlike the iPod, however, the Vision:M inludes an integrated FM tuner with 32 presets, as well as a built-in microphone.

Meanwhile, the BBC is reporting that Creative’s chairman, Sim Wong Hoo, fired a more direct legal shot at Apple yesterday during a press conference to announce the Vision:M. Citing a U.S. patent on the Vision:M’s navigation interface (which appears to be pretty similar to that of the iPod), Sim said his company would “pursue aggressively” any company that infringed on its patent. It will be interesting to see whether Creative can make good on its threat, given that just about every media player on the market has employed “a hierarchical system using three or more screens” since the dawn of the technology.

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