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Zune reaches 2m sales; flat versus iPod

updated 11:35 am EDT, Fri May 9, 2008

MS Sells 2m Zunes

As part of its recent Zune update, Microsoft has revealed that it has sold two million of the music players since their launch in November 2006, revealing relatively flat growth for the device lineup. Although the company originally promised and slightly exceeded a target for its first million sales between the original launch date and June 2007, the company has largely remained silent on its data for its players in nearly a year.

The sales still give Microsoft a slight gain in overall US marketshare from three to four percent, according to figures published by the NPD Group.

However, the figures also indicate fragmentation in Microsoft's sales in the wake of the company's second-generation Zune players. The electronics maker had sold its first million using solely the pioneering 30GB model but since November has been selling two inexpensive flash-based models as well as two hard drive players, with the Zune's slow growth indicating little effect on the market for its broader product range.

Such slowdowns have been partly attributed to current and predicted drops in spending on MP3 players triggered both by a US economic downturn as well as saturation of the market, as few purchases are being made by first-time buyers regardless of the brand.

The results nonetheless leave Microsoft with just a fraction of Apple's US share and with comparatively slow development. The company has primarily affected marketshare of Creative, who has dropped from four to two percent marketshare year-over-year, but has been unable to dislodge second-place SanDisk (at 11 percent) or the top-selling iPod. Apple in its latest quarter sold 10.6 million iPods, or more than five times Microsoft's cumulative sales to date.

Critics have sometimes attributed the lack of success for the Zune in its relatively slow development. The Zune has typically obtained features later than the iPod and some other opponents, including podcast support received in late 2006 as well as smart playlist support obtained earlier this week.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dom2cool

    Joined: Dec 1969



    i dont know anyone with a zune or seen anyone yet

  1. mgpalma

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What a flop. Those are REALLY bad numbers.

    And no, I have yet to see one in someone's hand, though I saw one on display somewhere. I think...maybe...can't remember...what were we talking about?

  1. MacnTX

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I've never seen anyone out in public with one yet either. And if Zune sales in year two were flat year over year as they appear to be, MS would be well advised to just kill it now and stop wasting money on it. They're obviously never going to compete with Apple or Sandisk in this market anyway.

  1. chefpastry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Here in NYC...

    Here in NYC, I've seen 2 in the wild since it's introduction. Not good.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I find it hilarious that they use that noun instead of Zunecast. Which of course would be lame anyways; it just tells you how entrenched the iPod is.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Another Zune sales figures story! Just in time so people can trash the Zune again!

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's a hit

    2 million units out the door. 12 people bought it and another million given away for free. The rest is sold and sitting around stock room somewhere.

  1. rytc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Podcast is the name given to a podcast now - it doesn't matter whether it is used on an iPod or Zune or just a computer - it's still called a podcast.

  1. simdude

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: testudo

    Well, the story was based on the fact that it was Microsoft that finally released some updated data. I guess Microsoft wants people trashing the Zune?

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I have owned three Zunes

    I bought the original Zune last year. Nice player, good sound, but a bit chunky. Loved the rubbery exterior...BUT NO SUPPORT for East Asian languages on the player. I returned it.

    A couple of months ago I bought the 80GB and 4GB players. NICE hardware. Solid construction. The wifi syncing is very useful for day-to-day updates of news, etc. Apple should do this. BUT, again, NO SUPPORT for East Asian languages on the player. I returned them.

    After a two hour phone-phest with MS, they told me they have no intention of adding that support until the Zune goes live worldwide (2080???).

    After this phone call, I finally bought two refurbished iPod Video 5.5 80GB models on the Apple Store.

    I don't do online music is CD all the way for me, so the player doesn't matter that much in regards to online sales...

    BUT...the ease of use with the iPod and iTunes simply cannot be beat.

    By the way, the Zune bashing is petty, especially if you haven't even used one...leave that to us who have bought and returned them.

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