By Richard Menta 11/15/06
There are no long lines in front of the electronic chains to tip us off on how well Microsoft's new Zune player is doing in the market these first few days nor do Walmart or Target let on to their sales figures on any item they sell. With all of the hype big things are expected for this iPod contender and initial sales numbers can shed some light on its prospects.
So far the best guage we have is the top 25 list on Amazon.com, a flawed list in that the site may capture a cross-section of the buying public different in some ways from those who shop at brick-and-mortar stores. I say may, because no one knows for sure if there is a significant difference or what these dfferences may be.
Microsoft Zune is available on Amazon
As of this writing Amazon's top 25 list for electronic products shows Zune at a respectable number eight. So what does that mean with respect to the iPod? Fortunately that same list is peppered with several different flavors of iPod and from that we can see that Zune has a lot of ground to make up.
iPods captured four slots in the top 10 including 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place. Each of these iPod flavors individually are outselling Zune. iPod models also holds a total of eight slots in the top 25.
But what is most telling is the item that lies in the number six spot, two places ahead of Zune. That honor goes to the SanDisk Sansa e250, the 2GB version of SanDisk's best player. SanDisk may have been the second best selling DAP brand prior to Zune's appearance, but that company certainly does not have anywhere near the advertising visibility Microsoft is committing to Zune. Zune's third place showing among MP3 brands has to be a little disappointing for Microsoft. But then again Microsoft did leap ahead of Creative, iRiver, Archos, Samsung, Toshiba and Sony on its first try and that is a clear accomplishment.
The game is early with the Christmas season on the horizon and plenty of marketing money to be spent. No iPod Killer here folks, but January figures should shed more light on Zune's long-term prospects and give us a better idea on how competitive Microsoft will be.
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