Sony confirmed on Wednesday that it is working to add native MP3 support to its portable music players--a major strategy reversal that could help it compete more effectively with rivals such as Apple Computer.
The shift from reliance on its proprietary format will begin with flash memory-based players, the electronics giant said, but plans are still being finalized on how and when products will add MP3 support. CNET News.com affiliate ZDNet France first reported of the change in Sony's strategy for the European market. U.S. representatives said the company is making similar plans here.
"We're discussing plans to bring flash players to the United States that support MP3 files, but we have nothing to announce at this time," said Gretchen Griswold, a representative of Sony Electronics.