Zune had a decent debut last month, but Apple Computer’s iPods continued to dominate the MP3 market, according to data from market research firm NPD Group released last week.

Including both flash memory and hard disk drive players, Microsoft came in fourth, with 1.9 percent of the market.

SanDisk was No. 2 with 18.4 percent of the overall market, up from 17.5 percent last year.

Uh-huh.  Reality check.

  1. GregA says:

    Wait a darn second. Zune captured 10% of the market in the particular nitch they entered. They did that despite an embarrasing series of errors on the product. They also forced Apple to lower their prices on the iPod.

    Also, people said these same things about the X-box when it was first introduced, and yet it is now the dominant game console platform.

    I am not counting microsoft out just yet.

  2. rodnovca says:

    #2 — Apple lowered their price first. After it had been leaked that the Zune would be priced at $299 (just like the 30GB iPod), Apple lowered their price to $249, forcing Microsoft to match — and making it so that Microsoft now losses money on each zune.

  3. woodie says:

    The gospel according to Bill, eh, GregA?

    Zune “reported 9-10%” market share the 1st week or two. Reality catches up after a while, dude. Oh, and Apple lowered their prices at their last public event — weeks before M$oft came out, lowering their entry price $50 to match Apple.

    I don’t own either and probably never will; but, revisionist history is as sleazy in business as politics.

  4. JT says:

    Don’t you think the Zune deserves just a little more time?

  5. GregA says:


    Yah, you got me! Because we all know it was a complete surprise to Apple that MS was releasing the Zune the second week of November. No one saw that coming. There was no warning of it ever. Not a peep.

    Or Apple (diligently i might add) lowered prices before the release of Zune to drain the swamp (if you will) and also force microsoft to adjust prices.

    Because its not like the consumer electronics business is cutthroat. Nope none of that at all in the consumer electronics industry. Apple would NEVER EVER DO ANYTHING to try and make MS look bad. Nope simply doesn’t happen.


    If you go back and read the article again (you did read it the first time didn’t you?) you will see that Microsoft has 9% of the hard disk based mp3 player market. (am i hearing an echo?)

    Those are NPD Numbers, not mine, not microsoft. So I guess NPD is the sleazy research firm here??? Is that what you were trying to say?

  6. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    I think he was trying to say that he hates Microsoft generally and Bill Gates in particular. 🙂

  7. James Hill says:

    I’m thinking Greg bought the brown one and is tired of defending his purchase.

  8. Peter Garner says:

    “They also forced Apple to lower their prices on the iPod.”

    Dude, it was the other way around. When Apple updated their iPods in the fall (this was before the Zune launched), they dropped the price of the 30GB model from $299 to $249. Microsoft had planned to launch the Zune at $299 but was forced to match the iPod’s new lower price, thereby eliminating any profits they hoped to make.

  9. I wish the press and others treated Apple’s computer market share the same way they treat the Zune market share. Why do they calculate the market share of “hard drvie based” Mp3 players but nobody calculates market share of “over 1000$” computers or consumer market share? I bet Apple has done fine in both for years, still when they talk about market share they always mention de “less than 5%” market share of Apple even though that includes segment where Apple does not compete. Trying to have it both ways? The Zune is as successful as the Tablet PC… And Microsoft, in its history, has a lot more failures than successes…

  10. Mike Voice says:

    Zune had a decent debut last month, but Apple Computer’s iPods continued to dominate the MP3 market…

    And anyone who thought this would turn out differently is a moron.

    The big question: What is Microsoft really trying to accomplish with the Zune?

    Are they content to target/control just the anti-iPod market?

    Are they hoping for an iPod backlash?

  11. GregA says:

    Alfredo Octavio,

    Actually, I had insomnia last night. I read just about every mac site there was. People have broken down the apple market share. IPods and Apple laptop computers are doing great, because of those two product lines apple is gonna have their best quarter ever.

    On the other hand the iMacs, and Mac Pro product lines are a drift right now. Sales are downright dissapointing. In that segment, they havent done worse since just before the iMac launch in 1998.

    Everyone wants the apple laptops and iPods. No one wants the Apple desktops…

  12. kballweg says:

    Actually Greg, I want an MacPro very badly. I’m just waiting for the core count to hit a ridiculous sweet spot, which I think will happen in January.

    And, yes you are somewhat right. Part of the reason I did delay getting one was because I “had” to have the new MacBook more. Being able to let clients experience XP, Vista, Ubuntu, and OS X hands on with the same box has been invaluable.

  13. GregA says:


    Sounds like you had a good hear!! Merry christmas! Good on yah!

    Check this out, This is a picture  [edited: pls use tinyurl] of my bonus check and my walkin around cash for christmas shopping this weekend!

    Merry christmas Indeed!

  14. ChrisMac says:

    Why don’t they give mp3 players away for free and charge for the music..

  15. Mark says:

    I will never buy an iPod till you can replace the battery, period, ever. The Sandisk is an excellent product.

  16. Esteban says:

    What Has Brown Done For You?

  17. Eideard says:

    #12 — I suggest you read articles — instead of fanboy blogs of either flavor, since you sound like this topic means something critical to your life.

    I haven’t offered this as a Post — because it’s unimportant to anyone other than marketing types; but, this week’s survey release by IDB finds folks planning to buy [1Q2007] new desktops in almost the identical position as folks planning to buy new laptops: Dell, first — HP, second — Apple, third — followed by also-rans.

    In both classes, HP was 1 percentage point ahead of Apple — both in the high teens of market share projection.

  18. doug says:

    #8. Until MS un-cripples the Zune’s wi-fi, all its customers “bought a brown one,” as it were.

    I forgot who mentioned it first but it struck me as a good idea – ditch the stupid points system and go with a monthly all-you-can-eat subscription service. that way, they can keep the DRM that the RIAA demands AND share amongst users. After all, why not swap files among people who don’t have to pay for them, per song? What does it matter if you downloaded it yourself or got it from another Zune subscriber?

    But anyway, uncrippling the wi-fi is key, since that is the only thing that could distinguish it from the iPod.

  19. JoaoPT says:

    #12 That’s because Apple (computer) really has two product lines:
    Laptops and Workstations.
    The mac mini and the iMac are, really laptops in disguise. And the MacPro is too much for the ordinary user. The mini is just too underpowered and the iMac, although at first glance looks cool, is in fact a dead end. The only upgrade possible after 3 years (normal obsolescence period) is a mobo/CPU swap, and those won’t come cheap. Let’s face it, if you buy a PC-in-a-monitor, you get a monitor that lasts much longer than the PC.
    #17 My thoughts exactly…

  20. Mike Voice says:

    21 Let’s face it, if you buy a PC-in-a-monitor, you get a monitor that lasts much longer than the PC.

    Thats where I’m at with my G5 iMac… but I knew that going in.

    Love the 20″ screen, but wish there were more upgrades available than just a dual-layer DVD burner.

    I had hoped the user-replaceable parts of the early models – like mine – would increase the upgrade potential. But with the hardware changing every 6-months, a critical mass of a given configuration can’t be reached. The pool of potential upgraders is too fractured to be lucrative to 3rd parties.

  21. JoaoPT says:

    I hate to rub it in… but that’s why I changed from Mac to PC in the first place.
    I’m the proud owner of three dead ends… an original LC, a Power Mac 7200 and a 500mhz iBook. Never again.

  22. SalHepatica says:


    The LC was introduced in 1991. What 1991 PC are you still using?

    The 7200 was released in 1995. Tell me all about the important work you’re getting done with your 60 mHz Pentium 1.

    The 500 mHz ibook came out in 2001. I’ll stipulate you might still be using a 700 mHz Celeron but I doubt you’d be bragging about it on a computer forum.

    My first Mac was a Performa, the equvalent of an LCII, in 1992. I bought a 7300 in 1998 and gave the Performa to a niece at college, who used it for an additional year and a half. I downgraded the 7300 to secondary status in 2003 when I got one of the first Power Mac G5s, but the 7300 remained hooked up to the home network for two more years as the “upstairs computer,” for quick access to the Net and for screening CDs for my website. In just over 14 years I’ve had three Macs. I don’t know any serious computer users who got by with that few new PCs in a similar period of time. Most PC enthusiasts I know laugh at people who try to upgrade old PCs to run major releases of Windows — they recommend buying a new box with the new version preinstalled. In the time period you are describing, we’ve had Windows 3.1, 95, 98, Millenium and XP. That’s five computers right there, and Vista makes six.

    Your remarks about Mac obsolescence are clearly off base in that light. PS: I fully expect to get several more years out of the G5, Intel transition or not.


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