It looks as though Apple prematurely crashed Microsoft’s
party when it announced that the newly improved 30GB HDD-based iPod would
retail for $249. DailyTech touched on
this issue in yesterday's
article on Apple's plan to maximize its profits with the latest generation
of iPod devices. Microsoft's Chris Stephensen seemed a little rattled by the $249
I'm not sure what they
think we're doing. It's certainly an interesting thing to do - to reduce the
price of a good-selling product like that - that was selling well at $299.
We'll take it as it is. It's an interesting move on their part, and it's an interesting
opportunity in the market place.
BetaNews expounds upon
that point with information that Microsoft was set to reveal pricing alongside
the official Zune announcement this past Thursday. Apple's Tuesday
announcement, however, put those plans on the back burner leaving the Redmond
giant in an awkward position. From
Microsoft indicate that the company is taking a "we will not be
undersold" approach in its pricing structure, and was likely to announce a
price that was either the same or lower than that of a comparable iPod.
Undercutting the iPod is a major goal of Microsoft's upcoming effort, say these
The question now is will Microsoft try to undercut the 30GB iPod
to gain marketshare in the portable audio arena or will Zune come out with a
higher price tag and bank on its larger screen and wireless media sharing to
woo customers. Microsoft is already seeing red when it comes to XBOX 360
hardware, so another money-losing venture might not sit too well with the top
brass and shareholders.