Not that Apple was the first to release a photo viewing digital music player, but now that they have, you can sure bet that many many more will follow. Apple has a tendency for creating huge competition for any of their innovative products they create, like the Scandinavian company Asono. They have just released a similar hard drive based digital audio player with on-screen picture viewing capabilities, but lacking the video out features.
Two things the 20GB Asono Elio has that Apple may regrettably have left out of the iPod Photo design, the expandable SD card slot, and the capability of direct USB device transfers. This makes the Asono Elio a true mobile data backup and photo tool. It features a 2.2-inch LCD and will run for 12 hours on a single charge. But again, lacking the video out features makes it no comparison to the iPod Photo’s main purpose, it still supports MP3, WMA, WAV, and ASF audio formats and JPEG, BMG, and GIF picture files.
Update: It appears that the Asono Elio is available online for $499 CAD from a distributor called NuFactor, unfortunately their shopping cart is broken. (Thanks Joseph)