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Pretty in Pink?
Microsoft's Zune gets off to a promising start

Microsoft's Zune portable audio player may not exactly be setting the sales charts ablaze, but it did make a respectable showing during its first few weeks on the market. According to market research firm NPD Group, the Zune managed to capture second place in the digital audio player market in its first four days of availability.

For its first week, the Zune managed to grab 9% of the market according to NPD. "Considering it is a new brand, it's a very good first-week showing," said Ross Rubin of NPD Group. Rubin went on to say "For a new brand that received limited to mixed reviews, and which is incompatible with the leading music store (Apple's iTunes,) as well as other music stores, it was a good launch."

It's a strong showing indeed by Microsoft, but only time will tell if the Zune has the stamina to make in further inroads on Apple's dominate iPod range. Apple's line of portable audio players which consist of the iPod, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle captured a whopping 63% for the same week period according to NPD.

As far as sales are concerned, Apple's cheaper flash-based Nano and Shuffle take the bulk of iPod sales. The Nano and Shuffle have base MSRPs of $149 and $79 respectively compared to $249 for the hard drive-based Zune.

Microsoft is going to need to expand its Zune lineup to include cheaper flash-based player if it is going to have any chance of competing toe-to-toe with the iPod. Creative and SanDisk both have flash-based offerings that are well below the $100 threshold and Microsoft will eventually have to follow suit.

On a side note, when Microsoft launched its Zune on November 14, it also dumped 100 pink Zunes onto the market which surprised some unsuspecting buyers when they opened their packages. Not surprisingly some hit eBay with one selling for over $700.



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RE: Cheaper Nano and Shuffle?
By rushfan2006 on 11/30/2006 4:45:58 PM , Rating: 3
Brandon stole my thunder on this post....

Not to sound mean or whatever -- but those "price per" analysts more often then not are just marketing pitches more than anything useful to the actually buying public. In essense -- to the customer they are pointless.

Why? Two reasons...1) Because simply stated if things were priced solely and strictly on a "per" basis...in this case portable music players we'll use the "per gb" formula...say the "going industry rate" for 1 gb is $1.....obviously the player with the smaller storage space would always be cheaper and the player with more would cost more. What I'm saying is the poster above merely divided the retail cost of the player by the amount of storage it has. If the world worked on strictly a "per" pricing model -- the player wouldn't cost what it costs today and the amount of price variance between the two models would be greater.

But the MAIN reason ....2) When I take the item to the cashier I pay the price that's marked on the tag....so why the heck do I care what is cheaper "per gigabyte"...its not cheaper to my wallet.



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