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Microsoft ships its one millionth Zune ahead of schedule

Microsoft shipped its one millionth Zune MP3 player after nine months on the market according to Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division. The company had originally expected to top the one million mark in June, but the company achieved the feat a month early.

"We're very pleased with the progress. We've sold a little over a million Zunes. In the category we're in, the hard-disk-based category, we've got about 10 percent market share," said Bach. "It's a good start. It's not an overwhelming start. I'm not going to pretend it's some gigantic move."

Even though Microsoft shipped over a million Zunes, it's still well behind segment leader Apple which recently celebrated its 100 millionth iPod sold after nearly six years on the market. As of February 2007, the iPod commanded 73.7 percent of the MP3 player market. Microsoft's 2.4 percent share was good enough for fourth place behind SanDisk and Creative Labs.

Microsoft is expecting a rather large uptick in sales leading up to the 2007 holiday season. The company is building a new manufacturing plant in China which will produce a second-generation HDD-based Zune along with a flash-based Zune.

In the mean time, Microsoft is likely to add firmware updates to existing Zunes to further enhance their capabilities. New MP3 player entries on the market such as SanDisk's Sansa Connect offer wireless downloading functionality that many assumed the Zune would feature from the start.

"As to the Wi-Fi, we think the idea of these devices being connected where you want them connected is very important. That's why we shipped the original Zune with Wi-Fi built in, remarked Bach. "The cool thing about that is, the innovation can all be in software. Wi-Fi is an important area. We'll see how that SanDisk project does."



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By akugami on 5/28/2007 5:25:10 PM , Rating: 2
10% of the HD based DAP sales in the time period that it was released. Basically a little spin. Obviously if you count up total DAP sales, even factoring in a 10% defective rate, the Zune has nowhere near an overall 10% market share but the statement, in the correct context, is not false either.

It's also not factoring in flash based DAP's which do quite well since they're generally cheaper. The market is practically flooded with cheap one to two gigabyte flash based DAP's. To be fair, MS doesn't currently have a product in this category but I'm sure that a remedy is in the works.

In the time period that it was released, it "sold" about 10% of the hard drive based digital audio players sold in that time period. It's still likely they're fudging the numbers and quoting shipped (sold to vendors, not yet to consumers) rather than actual sold to consumer numbers.

This is something Sony (and MS) is notorious for when reporting sales of it's games consoles. You'll often see the discrepancies in numbers between a reporting firm like the NPD numbers for console sales and the number quoted by the company in question. On the one hand, they're not really lying as they've sold it to retailers, but on the other hand it might be sitting in said retailer's warehouse for weeks and not in the actual hands of consumers.

You just have to get used to the marketing speak when reading stuff coming out of the mouths of big corporations.


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