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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: Zune 360
By Wightout on 11/30/2006 11:48:58 PM , Rating: 2
rofl

Its funny to see just how anti Apple you are. For curiosity's sake what did they do to you?

My philosophy is if you do not like a product (hopefully for actual reasons outside of a grudge) then don't buy it.

My Ipod is great, it plays music when I ask for it to do so...

Sony's problem was promising way too much and then failing to fully deliver.

Just a thought


RE: Zune 360
By apollo7 on 12/1/2006 12:58:14 AM , Rating: 3
Although his post was partially biased, I believe he brought about a very good point. Microsoft threw their very first audio player on the market, and were able to take the 2 spot in 4 days? Thats not bad. I bet MS is letting out a breath of relief right now. They've knocked out all but the nemesis (ipod) already.

Now they can start looking ahead to their next player. I'm assuming a flash-based player will be making its way, which could very well grab a few more points from apple. At this point, any share of the market that Microsoft takes from apple is a victory for MS. Whether its 5% to 40%. If they can chip away at apple with a few more revisions, they might be a true contender to the formidable ipod.

Or they could fail...I'm eager to see how this all pans out, especially after the holiday season.


RE: Zune 360
By Oregonian2 on 12/1/2006 3:03:55 PM , Rating: 1
Have to wait a few weeks more. They may be like movies where the first week is the biggie and it goes down from there when word-of-mouth gets out about it. :-)

From photos, I've thought the Zune was incredibly ugly. Went to Costco, and although they've a zillion of them for sale in the form of plastic photo-things that you take up to be exchanged for a real unit, they had NONE on display in person (even with the glued security cords attached), while they've iPods on display (which is what sold me on them). My conclusion is that the photos must be right and they are incredibly ugly.


RE: Zune 360
By Pirks on 12/1/2006 5:27:39 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Its funny to see just how anti Apple you are. For curiosity's sake what did they do to you?
Nothing bad particularly, I just don't like monopolies, be it MS Windows or Apple iPod.
quote:
My philosophy is if you do not like a product (hopefully for actual reasons outside of a grudge) then don't buy it.
That's why I never bought an iPod and am not going to buy one anytime soon. They like to overload their products with expensive unnecessary crap like video.
quote:
My Ipod is great, it plays music when I ask for it to do so
My Archos Gmini XS202 is lighter, smaller and cheaper than any comparable iPod, has all the functionality I need - that's why Archos for now. Before that I was buying exclusively Creative players, they used to have best bang for buck for me but Archos has beaten them with Gmini XS202.
quote:
Sony's problem was promising way too much and then failing to fully deliver
Apple's problem is charging too much for functionality I don't need.


"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

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