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  #1  
Old 08-12-2008, 11:00 PM
Adam Krebs
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Default NYTimes: Zune Only Selling to iPod Haters

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/magazine/10wwln-consumed-t.html' target='_blank'>http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/m...consumed-t.html</a><br /><br /></div><p>"<em>When the Microsoft Zune digital music player first appeared, it was the latest in a long line of gizmos to which the phrase 'iPod killer' was hopefully attached. And let's be clear about something: This column makes absolutely no suggestion that there is any credible evidence that this is happening. The most recent figures from NPD Group, the retail-data collector, showed Apple's device holding 70 percent of the MP3-player market, compared with 3 percent for the Zune. (This put Microsoft in third place, behind SanDisk, at 10 percent.)... But the most salient feature of the Zune seems to be that it&rsquo;s not an iPod.</em>"</p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/zt/auto/1218485308.usr495.jpg" border="1" /></p><p>The New York Times Magazine's <em>Consumed</em> column always offers an interesting outside perspective on trends among consumer products. This week, Rob Walker sets his sites on Zune buyers, wondering why anyone would consider a Zune if Apple's iPod is seemingly fine for most people. Walker concludes that the only people who buy a Zune do so simply because it isn't an iPod. As <a href="http://arstechnica.com/journals/microsoft.ars/2008/08/11/the-zune-is-more-than-just-the-antipod" target="_blank">Ars Technica</a> points out, this just isn't the case; "<em>Zune would still be selling if the iPod didn't exist. Consumers aren't simply buying the Zune because they don't like the iPod: there are features (like wireless sync) that the iPod doesn't have and that some consumers want. If the Zune didn't have unique features and Microsoft didn't keep trying to add them, it wouldn't succeed against the other, non-iPod competition.</em>"</p><p>One only needs to look to websites like the excellent <a href="http://www.anythingbutipod.com/" target="_blank">AnythingButiPod</a> to see the market for non-iPod players is still quite large. In order to have any success in this market, the Zune team will need to show not only why it is different from the iPod, but also how it will tap into the market that does not yet own an MP3 player. Things like the recent <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSN1129355120080811" target="_blank">Hollywood/Zune whisperings</a> should help expand its reach some.</p>
 
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  #2  
Old 08-13-2008, 12:39 AM
wshwe
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Thumbs down MS should be embarrassed

MS should be embarrassed. They're in 3rd place behind Sandisk. Steve Balllmer had to order his kids to stop using iPods.
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  #3  
Old 08-13-2008, 02:36 AM
Janak Parekh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wshwe View Post
They're in 3rd place behind Sandisk.
Well, this brings up an interesting question: why should people get a Zune over a Sandisk? Is the Zune software/hardware pairing better than what Sandisk provides? The one potentially alluring feature of the Zune, to me, is the subscription music, but Sandisk offers that as well.

--janak
 
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  #4  
Old 08-13-2008, 05:13 AM
ManMythLegend
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Default Really?

Zune only holds 3% of the market share? That's really depressing...
 
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  #5  
Old 08-13-2008, 08:07 AM
tbird
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There is probably some truth in the statement that the Zune is only selling to Ipod haters. I don't hate the Ipod, but I sure got tired of buying them for my kids only to have them go belly up after six months and just as soon as a new verison came out I had to start all over. Jeez, maybe I do hate the Ipod!
I don't know squat about Sandisk, only that it is an inexpensive mp3 player, which probably explains why it has a bigger share of the market than the Zune.
Will the Zune ever overtake the Ipod? Probably not...simply because most people who buy the Ipod don't compare products, they just buy because its an Ipod and that's all they know and honestly they could care less.
However there is a growing number of people who do compare and look at features and make a educated decision instead of simply playing follow the leader.
Heres a good example. I have three kids home from college this summer they all have Ipods, but what player is always being used? The Zune!
Where are they buying tunes and video's? MarketPlace!
Articles like the one in the NY Times imo, are written by people who look at other articles and numbers and don't do their homework (like actually trying out a product) before they write about it.
 
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  #6  
Old 08-13-2008, 04:27 PM
Janak Parekh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbird View Post
There is probably some truth in the statement that the Zune is only selling to Ipod haters. I don't hate the Ipod, but I sure got tired of buying them for my kids only to have them go belly up after six months and just as soon as a new verison came out I had to start all over. Jeez, maybe I do hate the Ipod!
Why would you upgrade when each new version came out? Would you ditch the 1G Zune when the 2G units came out?

Quote:
I don't know squat about Sandisk, only that it is an inexpensive mp3 player, which probably explains why it has a bigger share of the market than the Zune.
Interesting... so from your perspective, the Zune is better-marketed. Sandisk is not just about inexpensive MP3 players -- they still are the only major manufacturer to have a player that will stream subscription music over WiFi, for example.

Quote:
However there is a growing number of people who do compare and look at features and make a educated decision instead of simply playing follow the leader.
It's interesting that the Zune is preferred in your household, but the overall marketshare numbers don't support your hypothesis. I would also argue that players like the iPod touch have their own unique features that the Zune does not have, so it's not merely a "follow-the-leader" metric (although I would agree that's a nontrivial part of it).

--janak
 
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  #7  
Old 08-13-2008, 04:59 PM
djdj
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I don't hate the iPod, in fact I own an iPod Touch, but my music is in WMA format so iPods won't play it (I ripped 95% of it before the iPod was popular; AAC support on Windows is scarce; and MP3 sounds terrible.). Getting the Zune was a much simpler solution than re-ripping 1400 CDs. And once I got the Zune I really really liked it. Why not SanDisk? No high capacity player.
 
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  #8  
Old 08-13-2008, 07:30 PM
Rocco Augusto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManMythLegend View Post
Zune only holds 3% of the market share? That's really depressing...
If I'm not mistaken, doesn't Apple and Sandisk have pretty much worldwide distribution of their digital music players as well as countless generations of devices between both companies?

Microsoft is jumping into the game move than a few years late and since we're only our the second generation you don't have a large selection in hardware to own at the moment. Being able to secure 3% of a market that spans millions and millions of players is a pretty huge accomplishment in such a short period of time. It could be better but it usually takes Microsoft 3 tries to get something right.
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  #9  
Old 08-13-2008, 07:32 PM
Rocco Augusto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janak Parekh View Post
Why would you upgrade when each new version came out? Would you ditch the 1G Zune when the 2G units came out?
I still have my 1G Zune. I want a new one but this one won't break no matter how many I hit it with a hammer... I mean wish it would stop working to justify me getting a new one.
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  #10  
Old 08-13-2008, 07:36 PM
Janak Parekh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocco Augusto View Post
It could be better but it usually takes Microsoft 3 tries to get something right.
Good point. Does PlaysForSure count as the first? If so, what's the successor to Zune?

--janak
 
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