News Flash From The Realm of The Blindingly Obvious: Zune No Threat to iPod in the Near Term
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.rtoonline.com/Content/Article/Oct06/iPodToDominateZune102506.asp' target='_blank'>http://www.rtoonline.com/Content/Article/Oct06/iPodToDominateZune102506.asp</a><br /><br /></div><span style="font-style: italic;">"New research by JupiterResearch, a leading authority on Internet and emerging consumer technologies, forecasts that although growth rates for US sales of dedicated MP3 players will slow dramatically. However, according to the report, as the market moves beyond early adopters who purchase multiple devices and upgrade regularly, the user base will steadily increase from 37 million in 2006 to over 100 million in 2011. "Apple shows no signs of losing momentum, having conditioned customers to expect and adopt regular upgrades, as well as defined targeted use cases with optimized functionality," said Michael Gartenberg, Vice President & Research Director at JupiterResearch. "Despite the coming of Zune, the return of closed-loop digital music service-device combinations, and music phones on the horizon, the iPod should not lose significant market share in the next 12 to 18 months.""</span><br /><br />As much as I like the folks at JupiterResearch (Michael Gartenberg is a gentlemen and a scholar), sometimes analysts say the silliest things - largely because it's their job to make grand predictions about the market, and sometimes (especially in the short term) their predictions come across as obvious. Even if you had the ultimate media player product - let's say something 10x better than the iPod in every way, with 100 hours of battery life and a telepathic interface - the iPod juggernaut has so much momentum that nothing is going to stop it short term. That's just the way it is - but the Zune is a long-term, platform play, so as long as the Microsoft team has the guts to stick it out and not expect anything more than single-digit market share over the next couple of years, the slow but steady growth will win a good chunk of the market in the end.