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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

November 29, 2006 at 10:59 AM

Zune claims 2nd place in MP3 player business

Most entrepreneurs would be pretty happy if they entered a crowded market and claimed second place and 13 percent of sales within a week.

That’s how Microsoft fared with its Zune media player, according to a report from NPD Group that should be more useful than all the speculation about Amazon.com’s sales rank.

Based on data gathered from multiple outlets for the week ending Nov. 18, NPD concluded that the Zune took a 9 percent share by units and 13 percent share by dollars of the U.S. portable digital media player market.

That put Microsoft in second place behind Apple and ahead of Sandisk, a Flash player manufacturer that’s partnering with RealNetworks. During the same week, Apple took 63 percent of the market by units and 72.5 percent by dollars.

“Microsoft attracted early adopters in a successful launch week for Zune, eking out SanDisk as the No. 2 digital audio player vendor,” Ross Rubin, NPD director of industry analysis, said in a release. “This was especially impressive given the Zune’s single capacity configuration and relatively high price point. However, Apple still retained dominant share during the week and Zune was still outsold by PlaysForSure-compatible players in aggregate.”

I wouldn’t read too much into the first week of sales, though, since they were skewed by the launch hype.

Comments | More in | Topics: Zune

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