New data released today by the NPD Group found that during its product launch, Microsoft’s Zune handheld media player debut at the number two sport among portable media players, based on sales. According to the stats, the Zune grabbed 9 percent of sales for the week ending November 18; to that point, the Zune would have been on the market four days: it’s official launch was November 14, 2006.
A 9 percent sales share still puts the Zune far, far behind the iPod (which nabbed 63 percent of unit sales for the same week) but ahead of all PlaysForSure players—like Sansa’s SanDisk, Creative’s Zen line, and Toshiba’s Gigabeat. According to NPD director of industry analysis Ross Rubin, the numbers are "especially impressive given the Zune’s single capacity configuration and relatively high price point."
It remains to be seen whether the Zune can retain traction through the holiday shopping season and into 2007; its sales ranking on Amazon.com has slipped since the product’s launch, and reviews of the device have generally been lukewarm, with assessments of its software and service bordering often turning negative.
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