For months, experts have been saying it won't be long before an ecosystem of leading industry players (Sony, Creative, Nokia, Samsung, etc) will out-innovate Apple's iPod. Except for the Shuffle and a few minor improvements (bigger drives and color screens), the iPod has not changed much since its creation. The collective brainpower, resources and innovation is no match for a single company (even as good as apple) with a single product line.
The proof is the new creative Zen. Its sleek and modern steel (a la Moto Razr) design is much more appealing to me than the plasticky-white iPod. With MP3 support, you can buy songs from a dozen or more stores (not only iTunes) or you can rent a whole library per month. Check it out for yourself http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000723048894/
*Note: as with all posts in this blog, the opinions expressed here are my personal views, which may not match those of my employer.