Two research companies have estimated that Microsoft’s Zune digital music player captured about 8% of the total portable player sales during its first week of introduction. NPD Group estimated that the Zune grabbed 9 percent of total portable MP3 player sales during the period, while Current Analysis reported a 7 percent share.
The player was released on November 14th in the United States only, and took over the number two spot, demoting SanDisk to number three. Meanwhile, the iPod retained its dominance and delivered a 63 percent share during the week, according to the NPD report, boosted by sales of its gorgeous iPod Shuffle.
The tallies, which involved a survey of major US retailers, contradict earlier reports suggesting very low demand for the Zune. Its already clear that Microsoft will join the rest of the so called “iPod killers” who have been relegated to a meager 25 percent market share in the United States. Meanwhile, another survey conducted by Reuters during Thanksgiving at major malls, and found that 7 percent of prospective buyers would select a Zune, but the iPod was chosen 80 percent of the time. Reinforcing Zune’s poor performance, it currently holds a low sales rank on Amazon.
All of this comes at a time when Microsoft acknowledged that the Zune is incompatible with their new operating system, Vista, due to roll out in the next couple of weeks. A Zune support site confirms that “Windows Vista is not supported at this time” and advises customers to “check back soon for updates.” Not pretty…