TAIWAN-based Luxpro has caused controversy at the CeBIT trade show in Germany with its flash-based player the Super Shuffle.
Bearing a remarkable similarity to Apple’s iPod Shuffle, Luxpro’s offering also features FM radio and voice recording capabilities.
According to Germany’s Heise Online, Luxpro had taken the player out of its exhibit on Friday at the urging of Apple lawyers, but was again demonstrating it to the crowds on Saturday.
At the time of going to press no official response had been issued by Apple, believed to be in consultation with its lawyers.
Richard Betts, FFWD magazine assistant editor, says Luxpro has left Apple with no choice but to pursue legal action.
“What’s remarkable is that Luxpro could release this product in the belief it would not be sued. Having said that, some countries do have a notoriously lax approach to intellectual property rights,” he says.
“To give them credit, it looks a better product than the iPod Shuffle; it certainly has more features.”
Not only is the Super Shuffle made of the same materials, available in the same 512MB and 1GB sizes, and the exact same length as its rival, but its advertising material has also been replicated from the iPod Shuffle campaign.
Luxpro is being heralded by bloggers as performing one of the most successful marketing stunts in recent times, having gone from a no-name manufacturer to, according to one blog, “the guys who are going to get the crap sued out of them by Apple”.