Microsoft’s much maligned Zune personal media player got some good news today when market research firm NPD reported that in their sample of brick and mortar store sales it had edged the SanDisk Sansa products to claim the number 2 spot after Apple’s iPod. Todd Bishop at the Seattle PI:
After a bunch of negative reviews and one particularly awkward moment on national television, there’s a sliver of good news for Microsoft’s Zune initiative today. But it might be fleeting.
In its first week, Zune secured the No. 2 spot among portable media players, well behind iPod, but edging out previous second-place holder SanDisk, according to data released by the NPD Group today. Zune won 9 percent of the U.S. market, measured by unit sales, and 13 percent of dollar volume for the week ended Nov. 18, NPD reported.
The iPod represented 63 percent of unit sales and 72.5 percent of dollar volume for the week.
And the reason why the good news may be fleeting is that the general belief is that while the launch on Nov. 14 stirred interest in the Zune, it has been downhill from there.
Also, even the first week’s news isn’t unalloyed according to David Ellis at CNNMoney:
Another research agency, Current Analysis, reported a somewhat similar sales reading during the same week. For the same week ending November 18, 2006, the Zune took 7 percent of the MP3 player market, falling behind both Apple and Sandisk.
While the two reports look strictly at sales at major U.S. electronics retailers, online sales of the Zune appear not to be as favorable.
The verdict on Zune’s debut will more properly be delivered when the full holiday shopping season numbers come in, but I suspect we’ll see plenty of interim prognostications between now and then.
Other Zune news: