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Old 11-08-2006, 09:44 PM
Jason Dunn
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Default BusinessWeek.com: Zune Equipped for Success


"No one expects the Zune to quickly overtake the iPod. Apple has sold some 68 million of the devices, generating some $14 billion in sales, in the five years since it was introduced (see BusinessWeek.com, 10/23/06, "The Apple iPod Turns Five". The Zune is nevertheless expected to have a lot of takers...That could translate into hefty sales of Zune accessories. Wilson expects Microsoft to sell as many as 500,000 Zune players this holiday season. iPod buyers tend to spend 50% of the device's initial purchase price on accessories, says Richard Doherty, director of the consultancy The Envisioneering Group. If the same holds true for Zune, which will sell for $249.99, then accessories for the Microsoft device could generate some $62.5 million in sales early on."

A great article about the Zune and the accessories landscape being built up around it. My hackles used to rise when I heard people referring to the iPod as a "platform", because without the ability to incorporate third part software, "platform" seemed like too strong of a word for it. I think "ecosystem" is a better term, but in looking at the stunning number of hardware accessories for the iPod, platform may indeed be the right term for it. Will the Zune have similar success in this space building up a platform? It's too early to be sure, but it's clear that no digital media player has ever had this many accessories going for it at launch. The array of companies offering products (Belkin, Klipsch, VAF, Speck Products, Vaja, Altec Lansing, to name a few) is something I haven't seen with any player from iRiver, Creative, Sony, or anyone else. When you combine all those companies making accessories, and factor in the massive retail presence that the Zune will have, you end up a strong ecosystem offering for the consumer. Will they invest? We'll see.
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