The Clone Wars Rage On

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: News

SuperTangentSo remember, Luxpro? Yes, they are the company from Taiwan who ripped off the design of the iPod Shuffle and showed it off at CeBit along with matching iPod advertising, also stolen. Apple’s lawyers were hot on the case and within a day all offending materials and images were removed. Well seems Luxpro has a deathwish, becasue they are back with a slightly (and I mean VERY slightly) modified design. Units are now available and showing up on eBay for about $100 USD. They changed the name to the SuperTangent and it adds some additional features not found on the iPod Shuffle. The SuperTangent has support for MP3, WMA and protected WMA formats. It also has an FM tuner and can do high quality recording. If you are interested, Phillip Torrone over at Make Magazine has posted his review along with a Podcast recorded with the device. I personally hope Apple goes after them with all guns blazing and doesn’t stop until the the SuperTangent is nothing more than a SuperMemory.

There are 16 comments on The Clone Wars Rage On:

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  1. Allizard | Jun 01 2005 - 09:40

    From what I’ve read at Engadget it’s a pretty crappy rip off. Nothing work right. I just don’t understand why the Asian markets just love to rip off someone else design.

  2. Chris | Jun 01 2005 - 09:24

    I’d be a bit more sympathetic towards to Apple if they didn’t cripple the recording capabilities of the iPod. High quality recording on a Shuffle-like device would be awesome.

  3. Alan | Jun 01 2005 - 12:31

    Apple should take a lesson, quit overcharging for their antiques, and compete with a better product rather than with their lawyers.

  4. maccast | Jun 01 2005 - 12:41

    Can you clarify what you mean by that comment?

  5. earcandyjunkie | Jun 01 2005 - 01:44

    Although it’s true that the review listed on Engadget said the thing was “craptastic”, the review said it was surprisingly good. As a result, I have no idea which is true. But is doesn’t matter. If this company wants to make a player to compete with the iPod Shuffle in the marketplace, I’m all for it since the end result of such competition is usually a reduction in prices for the consumer. However, Apple spent loads of money designing and marketing the iPod Shuffle. This Taiwanese company (as well as the people releasing the “Pandora Box” rip-off of the Mac Mini) are illegally capitalizing on Apple’s intellectual property by stealing the design and concept for the product rather than doing the work themselves. Think of it as corporate plagiarism.

  6. mkp | Jun 01 2005 - 06:10

    lol, my dad told me this was going to happen a couple of days before i bought my shuffle, but you can’t beat iTunes.

  7. mkp | Jun 01 2005 - 07:01

    Say what you want, but the EZ Tangent OWNS. [or at least seems to]

  8. Bruce | Jun 01 2005 - 10:58

    Well said earcandyjunkie. Competition is great but stealing ideas is not.

  9. Alan | Jun 02 2005 - 05:03

    Why is it ok for the pace of progress to be dictated by one (Might-Makes-Right) company that wants to make sure they’ve squeezed every last drop out of their old milk cow before we can move on?

  10. Paul | Jun 02 2005 - 06:34

    I love my Apple products, but I am sick and tired of the Poor Apple Blues (P.A.B.). Apple and Steve Jobs are many things – THEY ARE NOT VICTIMS!

    In this posting, Adam states: “I personally hope Apple goes after them with all guns blazing and doesn’t stop until the the SuperTangent is nothing more than a SuperMemory.”

    I understand and agree with this statement. Nonetheless, why is there no mention of the fact the SuperTangent is selling a Shuffle that plays and records and has a radio for the same price as Apple charges for a player!

    I am the only one that hates paying retail?


  11. earcandyjunkie | Jun 02 2005 - 09:33

    Alan, I’m sorry but your argument is invalid. Nobody is arguing that the pace of progress should be dictated by one company. Luxpro is more than welcome to develop and sell their products. Many other companies develop and make digital music players, and if this results in cost decreases for consumers, that’s great. However, what Luxpro has done amounts to boldfaced theft of the design and marketing concepts from Apple. One cannot justify theft and copyright infringement by saying that it leads to competition and free trade.

  12. maccast | Jun 02 2005 - 09:05

    All I am saying is if you are going to make a better product then do it and make it your own. Don’t copy someone elses design. These guys are blatently attempting to piggy back off the success of the iPod Shuffle by creating a look-a-like product. The iRiver has all the same features (plus a screen) and low price point, but it does it with it’s own original style.

  13. earcandyjunkie | Jun 02 2005 - 09:33

    Paul said…”why is there no mention of the fact the SuperTangent is selling a Shuffle that plays and records and has a radio for the same price as Apple charges for a player!”

    There’s no mention because nobody seems to have any real experience with the thing yet. What if it turns out that the SuperTangent is a poorly constructed P.O.S. that tends to break within the first month of use? If, on the other hand, it turns out that it is a good product that equals the Shuffle in terms of audio quality and has all these other features, then terrific. Let them put it into a container that they develop (instead of stealing the design from Apple as they have done) and sell it. These market forces are what drive product development. If Apple sees their market share being taken away, they will have to continue developing their products to keep up.

  14. Allizard | Jun 02 2005 - 12:37

    Personally I think Apple is partly to blame for the Shuffle. Price is still a bit too much in comparison to other flash base USB mp3 players with more features. Grand it if you actually use the other features or not. Yeah it’s pretty poor taste to copy someone else design but in Asian culture this seems to be a norm. Luxpro just see the short coming and took a chance.

  15. rcarlos | Jun 04 2005 - 12:15

    “Price is still a bit too much in comparison to other flash base USB mp3”???

    I guess you haven’t designed any MP3 players lately. The Shuffle has undercut most competing players in most markets, and has forced many other companies to reduce their prices. One Canadian poster said that in that market, there’s no reason not to buy the Apple at current prices.

    And then of course, there’s the idiot factor. You’re not just buying a device, you’re buying into the iTunes/iTMS network, which is about as idiot-proof as you’re going to get. I recently installed iTunes for the first time, and immediately looked for a manual. I couldn’t find one… because none is required. My mother could use iTunes, and thus, I would not hesitate to give her a Shuffle for her upcoming birthday. (If she were into music, that is, which she isn’t.) That just about doubles the market, dunnit?

  16. rcarlos | Jun 04 2005 - 12:32

    …heck, the shuffle is not much more expensive than a bare USB drive was at that capacity. If you’re going to carry a flash drive anyway, why not have a codec in it? Audio files are what I carry on my USB drive most of the time anyway.