Set to give Apple's flash memory-based iPod Nano a run for its money, SanDisk have announced the launch of an 8GB version of the SanDisk Sansa e200 series, known as the e280. Retailing for only $249 (the same price as the 4GB iPod Nano currently sells for) the e280 can save up to 2,000 songs, which is twice the capacity of the iPod Nano. The device will begin shipping in mid-September hopefully.

"The most costly ingredient in a flash-based MP3 player is the flash memory. Since we make the flash memory, we essentially remove the middleman and pass that saving directly to the consumer," said Eric Bone, director of audio/video product marketing at SanDisk.
The company also announced that it is to slash the prices of other models in the e200 series, with the 2GB e250 dropping to a very reasonable $139.99, the 4GB e260 dropping to $179.99, and the 6GB e270 dropping to $219.99.

Eli Harari, SanDisk chief executive officer, said, "The battle for us was to establish ourselves as the clear number two, to distance ourselves from Creative, Samsung and Sony. It was quite surprising to us, frankly, how quickly and readily our products were accepted."
The pressure is now on Apple to release a higher capacity iPod Nano, which would probably take the form of an 8GB version. The company may also choose to drop the prices of other iPod models as well.