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GameStop cites lack of customer interest as reason for dropping the Zune

Microsoft’s Zune was dealt a blow recently when one of its large retail partners opted to not sell the Zune any longer. GameStop says that it decided to remove the Zune from its product line because of poor demand from its customers.

According to TheStreet, a GameStop spokesperson said, “We have decided to exit the Zune category because it just did not have the appeal we had anticipated. It (also) did not fit with our product mix.” GameStop did say that it would continue to sell the Zune online until it depletes its inventory of the devices.

According to Microsoft, it still has a line of big-box retailers distributing the Zune including Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target. GameStop profits aren’t expected to be affected by removing the Zune from the line up because most of its profits come from video games. Microsoft and GameStop expected a significant cross selling opportunity since many GameStop customers also own an Xbox 360. This cross sell opportunity never materialized.

TheStreet says that the Zune has only about 4% of the total digital media player market while rival and category leader Apple has a much larger portion of the market with its class leading iPod players. Microsoft sold around 2 million Zune's since the device launched in 2006 whereas Apple has moved 10.6 million iPod’s in the last quarter alone.

Microsoft is tweaking its Zune to provide users more features and recently introduced some significant updates for the device in the 2.5 update. Among the new Zune features were a subscription music service, new downloadable TV shows, and gapless playback among other features.

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By Alphafox78 on 5/27/2008 11:22:54 AM , Rating: 2
what is this world coming to, Microsoft is now selling Ipods! eggads!

RE: Ipods
By i3arracuda on 5/27/2008 11:25:24 AM , Rating: 5
Pretty soon, women will be able to vote, too.

RE: Ipods
By amanojaku on 5/27/08, Rating: -1
RE: Ipods
By HaZaRd2K6 on 5/27/2008 11:29:42 AM , Rating: 5
He's referring to this quote,

> "Microsoft sold around 2 million iPods since the device launched in 2006 whereas Apple has moved 10.6 million iPod’s in the last quarter alone."

Try reading the article next time before you make a smart-ass comment ;)

RE: Ipods
By amanojaku on 5/27/2008 11:35:35 AM , Rating: 5
Puts my own head back up my ass

RE: Ipods
By Desslok on 5/27/08, Rating: -1
RE: Ipods
By Gyres01 on 5/27/2008 11:56:52 AM , Rating: 5
It's too bad, the Zune is actually a great unit and costs much less.....

RE: Ipods
By othercents on 5/27/2008 12:05:58 PM , Rating: 3
However it was late to market and not compatible with iTunes. Personally I like my other MP3 players, but there is just way too much support for the iPod and iTunes.


RE: Ipods
By mondo1234 on 5/27/2008 12:27:49 PM , Rating: 2
Buy one now and you will get advertising ads on your Zune at no cost!

That should really increase sales!!!

RE: Ipods
By mmntech on 5/27/2008 1:10:21 PM , Rating: 3
With Amazon and now Napster releasing DRM-free music, that might soon change. Apple has enormous brand loyalty with the iPod though. Personally I prefer the more obscure brands that don't use DRM schemes and offer better codec support. I rip my CDs in the format of my choice in high quality. Soon that will be illegal (unless saner heads prevail which they probably won't) but it's not going to stop me from doing it.

I think Zune struggled with a negative image from the get go, plus the market was already overcrowded when it came out. Apparently they're only sold in the US too; at least they're not available here in Canada. As for Gamestop, EB games here in Canada has never sold MP3 players. They're supposedly a subsidiary of Gamestop.

RE: Ipods
By DeathSniper on 5/27/2008 1:12:33 PM , Rating: 2
Iirc EB was bought out by GameStop 3 or 4 years ago.

RE: Ipods
By mondo1234 on 5/27/2008 2:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
Just import the MP3 into Itunes and drop it on the ipod.
Been doing this for years.

RE: Ipods
By VashHT on 5/27/2008 5:15:33 PM , Rating: 2
Since he said high quality formats I'm guessing he doesn't rip them as MP3s. I don't have an ipod for the same reason, my Cowon player can play way way more formats and I don't have to convert any of it to the "itunes" format.

RE: Ipods
By mondo1234 on 5/27/2008 6:42:48 PM , Rating: 3
Which $150 "High Quality" player are you referring to? None of them have chipsets that are up to a finicky audiophiles acceptance. To maximize the experience, do you also need the ultimate noise canceling headset? Just by the CD then.
I only workout with it, I dont need it for the ultimate audio experience.

RE: Ipods
By ThePooBurner on 5/27/2008 2:01:52 PM , Rating: 2
The only MP3 player with having is the Creative Zen. I have the Zen Vision:M. Best player you can get for the money.

RE: Ipods
By DeltaZero on 5/27/2008 4:42:26 PM , Rating: 1
I won't buy a thing from Creative unless I absolutely have to after the alternative Vista drivers story.

RE: Ipods
By mindless1 on 5/27/2008 10:06:43 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't realize they had a gun to your head.

RE: Ipods
By seamonkey79 on 5/28/2008 9:05:42 AM , Rating: 2
Do you think Creative will give me a discount on one of their new players if I send the five dead ones I've got here back to them?

Let's see...

3 Zen Micro 8GB
1 Zen Sleek Photo
2 of those stupid little AAA ones that I can't remember what they're called...

The Micros all went back to them, paid $25 a pop to have them repaired, which repairs lasted just long enough to get them repaired again was another $25 each.

Skip them.

I've had my Zune since it came out, and other than a slight problem I had the other day with my USB extension, which worked in XP but seems not to work in Vista (extender wire, so far the only anything incompatibility I've had between XP and Vista, solved by plugging the Zune's wire right into the PC) I've been happy with Zune.

And it's not dead.

Unlike my Creatives.

RE: Ipods
By ThePooBurner on 5/30/2008 1:51:29 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm. All products of which are not comparable to the Zune, or the full size Zens of which i speak, at all. Funny how comparing apples and oranges, always makes the orange more citrusy than it's opponent.

RE: Ipods
By mondo1234 on 5/27/2008 10:55:01 PM , Rating: 2
Here is another Zune article from the NY Times.

" Microsoft May Build a Copyright Cop Into Every Zune "

RE: Ipods
By JSK on 5/28/2008 2:13:32 AM , Rating: 2
This was already proven false. Do some more research.

RE: Ipods
By Locutus465 on 5/27/2008 1:53:53 PM , Rating: 4
Really, MS should go ahead and lower the price of the zune hardware if possible... Additionally more TV content needs to be added, and HD digital downloads would be appriciated.

RE: Ipods
By mondo1234 on 5/27/2008 2:32:43 PM , Rating: 2
Does ISUPPLY have a cost list of the Zune? It would be nice to know how much it is costing MS (or Toshiba) to make them. It was done with every Ipod, so I am sure they could do it with the Zune.

RE: Ipods
By Parhel on 5/27/2008 2:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
The Zune is already a pretty good deal. It's priced below comparable iPods, and offers more such as a larger screen and an FM tuner. The problem is that Microsoft hasn't advertised it at all. They're trying to break into a market totally dominated by Apple, and they're sitting on their behinds. They just released the product and assumed it would sell itself. They need to get out there and let people know the Zune exists.

RE: Ipods
By Locutus465 on 5/27/2008 2:56:03 PM , Rating: 2
From what I can tell Zune is price fiarly competivily with the more padestrian ipods (i.e. not touch). I think the problem is that MS doesn't have anything with the marketing presence/sexiness of the touch. While the Zune (particularly when you consider the superior service) is indeed a great value at it's current price point I don't know if the market at large is going to see it that way. Particularly since even though iTunes (at least IMHO) isn't as good a service, it's the one that everyone knows.

RE: Ipods
By kmmatney on 5/27/2008 5:46:49 PM , Rating: 2
My coworker just bought a Zune and I was surprised by how nice it is, especially for watching movies. If I were to buy a hard drive based player now, it would be a Zune. He has an Ipod and now a Zune and prefers the Zune.

What I think Microsoft should do is come out with a Flash-based Zune that stands out, such as a 16 or 32 Gb model. They need to stand-out from the Ipod players.

RE: Ipods
By kelmon on 5/28/2008 5:18:47 AM , Rating: 2
Selling the things outside the US might be a good start. Seriously, the Zune has been available for, what, about 2-years now but is still only sold in the US whereas the iPod (and pretty much everything else) is available globally. You're not going to make much of an impact in the market if you restrict the market that you can reach.

RE: Ipods
By Locutus465 on 5/28/2008 10:08:12 AM , Rating: 2
Yeeowza, didn't realize MS was making that kind of a mistake! Yeah they should really open up the product internationally.

RE: Ipods
By Oakley516 on 5/27/2008 2:50:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, HD is really important when you're dealing with a 3 inch screen.

RE: Ipods
By Locutus465 on 5/27/2008 2:53:51 PM , Rating: 2
For those of us with a smidgen of creativity we realize that if you package the "- PC" video file as an HD video file we'll be getting a very nice picture upgrade when streaming purchased content to our home theaters via x-box 360.... Also if the packaged PCM track could be switched out for 5.1DD that would be great (unless they seriously want to packaged 5.1PCM in which case I'd need to figure out how to get that raw audio to my receiver :P).

RE: Ipods
By afkrotch on 5/28/2008 1:04:48 AM , Rating: 2
My only problem is the lack of 3rd party hardware to go with the Zune. I bought the 80 gb Zune and needless to say, there isn't much for it, aside from what Microsoft puts out.

Griffin finally put a polycarbonate casing out for it. Still no speaker docks available from anyone. Unless you want to just use regular headphone cable to plug into a ipod speaker dock.

RE: Ipods
By Locutus465 on 5/28/2008 10:05:12 AM , Rating: 2
I can see this as being a problem for some, though at least you can mitigate some of the impact of this issue if you have an x-box 360. Just turn on Media Player library sharing, make sure media player's library is including your zune lib and you're good to go playing your Zune content on your stereo. There are no limitations with this, even zune one pass content plays flawlessly, it's a beautiful thing.

RE: Ipods
By afkrotch on 5/29/2008 11:14:23 PM , Rating: 2
I have a 360, but that's not the reason why I want a speaker dock. At home, I have my computer with all my music and it runs through my stereo system.

I want a speaker dock at work, as I'm not allowed to keep any music on my comp. I go to work, hook up power cables to the wall, then to the Zune. Then I hook up the headphone cables that come from the speakers.

It'd be much more convienent to roll into work, drop it in a dock, and go. Thinking of getting a 2nd Zune comp dock and keeping that plugged in at work. Then I'd just dock my Zune and plug in the headphone cable.

RE: Ipods
By Hardin on 5/27/2008 4:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
The zune pass is why I bought a zune. I didn't even know gamespot sold zunes so I don't really think this is a big blow to Microsoft.

RE: Ipods
By Locutus465 on 5/27/2008 4:32:20 PM , Rating: 2
Zunepass is the reason why even though my only mp3 player is an iPod shuffle I forgo using iTunes all together and get my music from Zune market place. One day, I plan on replacing the shuffle with a Zune player.

Kiddies and mas
By OAKside24 on 5/27/08, Rating: 0
RE: Kiddies and mas
By rs2 on 5/27/2008 2:15:25 PM , Rating: 4
Brand recognition is a powerful thing. It's a pity that Apple has figured out how to exploit this better than most other companies. They have terrible, proprietary products that would never sell on their own merits, but a superb marketing department that's excelled at covering up the monopolistic nature of Apple's product strategy.

RE: Kiddies and mas
By michael2k on 5/27/08, Rating: 0
RE: Kiddies and mas
By Sazar on 5/27/2008 5:46:48 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree that it took this long.

I believe if you look at other products such as Cowon's lineup, you'll see some excellent all around players. It's just that Apple has the content delivery locked up and have developed the LUST for their product that others have not been able to.

Consider, if you drive a BMW, will you drop down to driving a KIA? Probably not. Apple have positioned themselves as the BMW's of their segment and have painted everyone else as being a KIA, i.e. a capable product but not "class-leading".

As a result, better, more fully-featured players are often left by the way-side as people purchase more inferior products.

My zune has a much better screen for viewing products and has much better items such as headphones standard. Unfortuantely, the HUGE achilles heel for Microsoft is the lack of development of an accessories base and without that, people will continue to buy iPods. I personally am considering switching simply due to lack of accessories.

RE: Kiddies and mas
By michael2k on 5/27/2008 7:30:30 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm, Cowon's first HDD player wasn't released until 2004, three years after the iPod and it had no screen. Hard to argue that it could compete successfully with the original 5GB iPod, much less the iPod photo or iPod mini (both also released that year).

So how do you argue that Cowon had a capable competitor to the original iPod when their big model at the time, the CW200, clocked in at only 128MB?

Your argument only holds if you acknowledged that others copied Apple's initial design for high density portable MP3 players. Prior to the iPod you had huge (Creative Jukebox at 20GB and the size of a Mac mini) and tiny (Rio 900 at 384mb). The iPod sat just slightly bigger than a Rio, but offered 18 times the storage.

So my assertion is that the "more fully-featured players" are released AFTER the iPod, with the additional features offered only to combat the iPod; take an iPod and add WiFi (Zune) or take an iPod and add FM radio (Creative Zen).

Look it up. Every capable competitor the iPod has ever had was released YEARS after the 2001 iPod; the Zen Micro in 2004, the Zen in 2005, the Zune in 2006, the Zen Vision:W in 2006, etc.

Microsoft's Achille's Heel is that they released a reactionary product and not a revolutionary one. They should have made squirting a feature of every copy of Windows Media Player so that all Zunes could home in on any WiFi PC, and vice versa, they should have developed a high capacity flash version first, they should have made the screen twice the resolution, and they should have made them all capable of synching over WiFi from the get-go.

Now they will be left behind by the iPod touch.

RE: Kiddies and mas
By mondo1234 on 5/27/2008 8:52:37 PM , Rating: 1
Wow, you beat me to it.
What planet is rs2 on?
Great comeback, I could not have put it better.

By gramboh on 5/27/2008 12:55:02 PM , Rating: 2
Quick question on the Zune:

#1) Can you use it as a USB drive style MP3/video player? I use an old Archos mp3 player in this manner, I plug it into my PC, it appears as a USB drive and I manage the mp3s using Explorer to copy/paste. I don't want any frontend software managing my MP3s, I prefer to do it manually. Can the Zune do this?

#2) Does it support (or can you add support) for divx/xvid/mpeg/avi video types?


RE: Question
By Sazar on 5/27/2008 1:11:37 PM , Rating: 3
No to the first and sort of to the 2nd.

I convert my videos and they play very nicely on the screen.

My biggest gripe about the Zune 80GB is the lack of accessories. Had Microsoft actually invested in better accessories available at time of purchase, I would not be an annoyed user. Heck, I am using an iPod cradle for my Zune in my car (not for connectivity, simply for holding the player).

I love the player by the way, the zune-pad is superior to anything else, besides the iPod touch interface. Simple and easy to use and the docks are decent.

RE: Question
By gramboh on 5/27/2008 5:44:46 PM , Rating: 2
So you have to use Windows Media Player or some other piece of crap frontend to manage it? That is so stupid, argh.

RE: Question
By kmmatney on 5/27/2008 5:50:20 PM , Rating: 2
The Zune software si actually very good - better than Itunes from what I have heard from people who have both an Ipod and a Zune.

No surprise here
By Bonrock on 5/27/2008 12:13:12 PM , Rating: 5
Actually, I'm not sure this has anything to do with the Zune itself. Maybe it's just me, but when I think about buying an MP3 player, a video game store like GameStop is not exactly the first place I think of shopping. Last time I checked, GameStop doesn't sell iPods, but I'm willing to bet that if they did, nobody would buy iPods from them either.

Now, if a consumer electronics store like Best Buy couldn't sell the Zune, that would be a news story.

RE: No surprise here
By mondo1234 on 5/27/08, Rating: 0
RE: No surprise here
By kelmon on 5/28/2008 5:38:48 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, I'd disagree here. GameStop had the potential to be a reasonable place to buy a Zune because they already sell the 360 and the 360 sells well. Microsoft missed a trick by not linking the Zune with the 360 to, effectively, make it a great accessory. So, rather than saying "I'd like to buy a Zune", you'd say something more like "I'd like to buy a 360 and, hey, I'll get a Zune to go with it". One presumes that this is what GameStop was expecting and it just didn't happen so they gave up.

Either Microsoft doesn't really care about the Zune or they're just plain out to lunch.

By peritusONE on 5/27/2008 11:47:19 AM , Rating: 3
The article states:

"Microsoft is tweaking its Zune to provide users more features and recently introduced some significant updates for the device in the 2.5 update. Among the new Zune features were a subscription music service, new downloadable TV shows, and gapless playback among other features."

The subscription service has been there since day 1. Just sayin'....

By nismotigerwvu on 5/27/2008 1:47:48 PM , Rating: 3
I hope this doesn't hurt the Zune. It is seriously a nice little unit. I picked up an 80 gig a few months ago and have been SUPER pleased with it and my only complaint (lack of gapless playback) has sense been fixed and you certainly can't beat the $15 a month unlimited music zune pass. Saved me from ripping my 500~ish CD's and let me fill out some discographies I other wise wouldn't have filled. I mean, yeah there are some albums that I have that aren't on the Zune Marketplace that I listen to/want on my player like the Lion and the witch (Weezer's live album that was a limited release anyways). But I mean, I can't complain about a service that has the album art from De-loused In The Comatorium in it's commercial :)

Uhhh game stop ??
By Reclaimer77 on 5/27/2008 2:52:39 PM , Rating: 3
The only thing I have ever bough in a Game Stop is GAMES. Why is this news ?

No wonder there is " no demand " for the Zune in Game Stops. There is no demand in Game Stop for ANY electronic device except games, game consoles, and game console accessories.

If you want a Zune go to Best Buy or Circuit City. If you want some pimplefaced dropout who tries to shove World Of Warcraft disks up your a$%, go to Game Stop.

By phatboye on 5/27/08, Rating: 0
RE: Karma
By mondo1234 on 5/27/2008 9:01:06 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it is

By cmontyburns on 5/27/2008 7:38:01 PM , Rating: 2
i used to own a zune. as a replacement for my creative nomad after my car was stolen and that mp3 player... therein.
if a zune ($199.00) cannot top the experience on a supposedly lesser player that cost me less than half the price, you can be sure some letdown has occured bigtime. i lived with that zune for three days then returned to fry's to get my money back.
few gripes:
* short battery life between charges.
* slow data transfer from pc
* ugly/weird ui.
* locked up quite a few times.

i will never buy another zune product ever again, watch its commercials, or step on my brakes if i see a unit laying on the street.

"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken
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