updated 02:10 am EDT, Wed October 25, 2006
iPod will dominate Zune
Microsoft's forthcoming Zune player will not significantly impact Apple's iPod market share, according to a new report. Market research firm JupiterResearch, which released a new report this week, also concluded that mobile phone players were not a threat to Apple's iPod dominance because most customers were not interested in wireless music downloads and said that handheld media player shipments are expected rise nearly triple in the next five years. Based on survey and its own analysis of the market, research firm JupiterResearch on Tuesday said that Apple's iPod won't lose significant market share in the next 12 to 18 months even as Microsoft introduces a competing music player. "
The iPod will remain the top choice for U.S. portable media device users, who will grow from 37 million this year to 102 million in 2011," according to Jupiter stats quoted by Bloomberg. "The total number of players in use in the U.S. is expected to rise from 62 million this year to 196 million in 2011."
Apple, which has sold more than 67.6 million iPods in the last five years, has 77 percent market share, according to market researcher NPD Group. The report notes that Microsoft, whose strategy of working with partners has failed to produce a device with more than 10 percent market share, is releasing its own Zune music/media player in November; however, one JupiterResearch analyst believes that the new media player will not pose a challenge for Apple and its industry leading iPod/iTunes ecosystem.
The first version of Zune is not going to have a very big impact on the market, JupiterResearch analyst David Card told the publication. "There's nothing on the horizon that looks like a game changer."
While it has some features not found in Apple's iPod, the research firm believes that Microsoft's Zune doesn't offer a compelling solution and that the player's main feature--wireless connectivity--is not that compelling. "Zune doesn't have many features that aren't available on the iPod. The main one, a wireless connection to other Zune machines for sharing songs, isn't that compelling," Card said.
Eleven percent of 2,232 customers surveyed by JupiterResearch said that features were important to them in a portable music player; according to the survey, the top function desired by customers was a built-in FM radio, a Zune feature that's not available directly on the iPod, but can be added via an Apple's accessory.
"Still, customers don't seem to be bothered by the lack of a radio when they buy an iPod," Card said. "Microsoft should have combined its music player with a phone or game machine to really change the competitive picture," the analyst told Bloomberg.