Sandisk's boast: "We're number two!"

We haven't seen a company this excited about being number two in a market since Avis' old ads where the company boasted about being second place to Hertz. But when you're up against Apple and have spent almost nothing on marketing, being number two may be worth shouting about, which explains why SanDisk is sounding off about its second-place position in the US market for digital audio players. Of course, SanDisk is a very distant second place: the company sold a million audio players during the holiday period, compared to Apple's 14 million. Still, considering that the company's Sansa players have none of the iPod's cachet, and don't even get much respect from the Cowon/Creative/iRiver-loving anything-but-iPod crowd, number two seems like a good place to be. But they'd better not rest on those wilted laurels for long; no. 3 and 4 are just behind them, and this market has brought down bigger players than SanDisk -- including Rio, which was once ranked number one.