With the new iPod announcement looming on the horizon, there really couldn't be a worse time for the Zune to be unveiled. The folks over at Gizmodo got their mitts on a what could potentially be marketing material showcasing a new line of flash-based and hard-drive-based Zune players (see photo). Whether the photo is accurate or not, the next question (especially in the light of incoming iPods) is a resounding "So what?"
Could it be an Flash player with Wi-Fi and integrated wireless music downloads? If it is, I saw it already when it was called the SanDisk Sansa Connect. Maybe, if the rumors back in April have any validity, it'll be a Zune phone. Looks unlikely.
I just feel bad for Zune either way. If the photos are accurate, they've lost the element of surprise and the opportunity to explain what might be cool about this new Zune series. Even if the photos are phony, consumers will think they've glimpsed the unimpressive new Zunes and have all the more reason to let Steve Jobs sweep them off their feet on Wednesday.
Let's all hope that Zune has an ace up its sleeve here. The world has enough average MP3 players. Please, Zune, make me eat my words.