The Zune, Microsoft’s much-hyped answer to Apple’s trend-setting iPod, had a good first four days of sales, says a leading research firm. But consumer electronics analysts don’t think Apple has anything to worry about.
The NPD Group, which tracks sales at most top retailers, says the Zune digital music device had a 9% market share in its first sales days Nov. 14-18, compared with 63% for Apple. The research firm hasn’t reported sales for the all-important Thanksgiving holiday selling weekend.
SanDisk, which is usually in second place to Apple, saw its share fall to 8%. NPD doesn’t report sales for Wal-Mart, Amazon.com or the Apple Store.
“For a new brand that received limited to mixed reviews, and which is incompatible with the leading music store (Apple’s iTunes,) as well as other music stores, it was a good launch,” says Ross Rubin, an NPD analyst.
Zune comes with a 30-gigabyte hard drive and sells for $249, the same price as similarly featured iPods. Apple, however, has many iPods available, starting at $79. Its most popular iPod, the Nano, starts at $149. SanDisk Sansas are lower-priced, starting at around $50.