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Zune Drops To Fifth Most Popular Media Device

Microsoft’s Zune, which had a mini-smash debut, taking the number two spot in market share in its first week, dropped down to a tie for fifth place, comprising less than 20% as much market share its second week, despite coinciding with Black Friday. In the week ending November 18, the Zune represented 9% of all portable media device sales, a number that fell to 2.1% the following week.

Overall player sales rose dramatically, while Microsoft sold roughly the same number of players in its second week as it did in the first week. Apple’s iPod was nearly overtaken by Sandisk (which retook its #2 spot), edging out Sandisk in market share 39.4% to 39.3%. Following those two were Creative (#3) and Memorex (#4), with Disney tying Microsoft for fifth.

I can see why this happened. On Black Friday, shoppers are looking for bargains, not popular items per se’, and the Zune wasn’t exactly discounted anywhere. Neither was the iPod, which is why Apple almost got beat. My brother accompanied me to Best Buy on Black Friday, and he was shocked that there were no deals on the all-important iPod, or even the supposedly hot Zune. While there was no way we were going to see a price break on a week-old Zune, it is ridiculous that you can’t get an iPod on sale, ever.

That is what happens when you have a monopoly.

By the by, if anyone at NPD Group (who released these numbers) is a reader, I’d love to do deeper coverage of these reports in the future. Hit the contact links on the right.

December 5th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General, Apple, Windows Media, Zune | 3 comments
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  1. Told you.

    I can see it going back in the direction of the old level, in the short term at least. I think there was only one reason it was that high: it was new, all the people waiting for it bought one. Now that they’re gone, it will no longer be at its increased rate.

    Comment by Tim | 12/6/2006

  2. There was a sale. it was black friday. It was Apple-wide, and offered pretty good discounts. Around 20% on most.

    Comment by Hoops | 12/6/2006

  3. MS could, if they wanted to, sweep the market with what they have rather then trying to follow the same model as iPod and everyone else! Why do they think their DOS and Windows took over the market?!!!

    I like Zune but not their lock-down on the Wifi and lack of support for some formats of video but I understand the entertainment Industry pressure exerted on them.

    So why didnt they simply have Zune as a software on top of Windows Mobile?!They could have cleaned up the market, as well as start a whole NEW market for people creating programs to run on a ZUNE/MS Mobile!!
    Then they could have kept their stuff locked and if someone else created a program that shared songs and files with no restrictions… it woudln’t be Microsofts fault.
    Plus a 3rd party software maker could allow the Zune to play any format under the sun!OMG they woulda STOMPED on iPod and everyone else! A whole new type of Mp3player AND market AND MS Mobile operating system recognition for mobile devices (Well more of it then they already have … lol )

    ScanDisk is an excellent device with a couple bugs that were fixed with the firmware update. As well as some tweaking of a file on the computer to allow it to play full length videos rather then breaking it up into 10 minute clips.
    They still need to add fast forward and reverse to firmware to make it perfect. But its a very nice compromise compared to the Nano and iPod Video player. Not to mention the great titanium-like metal they have as the backside.

    iPod bounced back because they had more on stock everywhere for last minute shoppers. And getting the ikonic “iPod” was a safe bet for those parental shoppers.

    Comment by jabber_wolf | 12/26/2006

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