Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Zune outstrips iPod... sort of

Good news for Duncan: the Zune is outselling the iPod on Amazon in the US.

It's true. Up to a point. If you cast your eyes at the chart on Amazon.com, you do indeed discover that the Zune is at the top of the chart. However, the iPod in its various formats sits at number 2, 3 and 4; there's a SanDisk Sansa at number 5; before iPods again at 6, 7 and 8. The next Zune is down at number 9, before another run of variants of iPods until a Sansa player at 15.

So, yes, the Zune is having a moment in the sun, but it seems unlikely that the Zune range is outselling the iPod range; or, indeed, anywhere close to doing so.


Duncan said...

Haha, I think that makes me officially famous.

Sure, it's only at the top because it's just been released, but it's not every player that's able to unseat the iPod - even in the launch month.

Zune's definitely moving in the right direction. The wireless syncing is awesome, and the way they've applied it to old Zunes too is brilliant treating of their customers.

If they keep innovating at this rate, then Zune 3 will be incredible... That said, how hard is it to introduce gapless playback?

simon h b said...

What's the web browsing experience like on it?

Sorry, that was a cheap shot.

And, yes, the place at the top of the list is something impressive, even with the caveats. The deep-discounted price might help a little too, mind...

Duncan said...

Yeah, but who really wants to browse the web on their mp3 player that doesn't already have a mobile phone that'll do it?

Even if they did add it, I can't think of any reason why I'd ever use it over my phone... Not least just for text input reasons...

The deep-discounted price thing you mention is interesting - it's $150 on Amazon, but I think the price has dipped as low as $70 or so elsewhere... I'm unclear as to why so many people are buying them off Amazon when they could get them elsewhere much cheaper...

simon h b said...

Interesting question about the value of the browser in the touch - I love mine, but my phone is about five years old and not likely to be upgraded soon.

But a few of the reasons:

I don't take my mobile overseas with me, as it's just clutter that's too expensive to bother with making calls on and/or getting them; an mp3 player that also browses is quite a different proposition.

I've never seen a better implementation of mobile internet as on the Touch, which makes it possible to actually enjoy reading the web on a smaller screen.

Most importantly: it uses wi-fi, so you're not paying for data transfer on a mobile network, which is quite lovely.

Seriously, I thought I wanted a classic for the extra storage until I tried the Touch in an AppleStore...

Duncan said...

Yeah, phone data services are rubbish, but my Nokia N95 (which, if you are ever looking to upgrade, is currently free on O2) hooks up to Wifi networks as well as offering traditional phone data. It does it well, too. It's nice snapping photos on the 5mp camera and then uploading them to flickr immediately. I'm not here to sell N95s though - even if they are 3G ;)

(My turn for the cheap shots!)

I haven't tried the touch browser, though I imagine it's pretty good, given it's such an integral feature of the device. If I'm going overseas for any length of time, I'll generally take my notebook PC. Essentially, an ipod touch has never really appealed to me because I've got other stuff that does everything that it does. I don't have any investment in the iPod 'ecosystem', unlike most mp3 player owners, so there's nothing that pushes me towards it for that reason, either.

My girlfriend, when I suggested she might want an iPhone for Christmas (she owns an old ipod and macbook already), said something interesting to me: "God no! When I'm listening to music I don't want phone calls interrupting me!". That struck me as yet another viewpoint - that some people will always want their phones, mp3 players and internet browsers to all be different devices so they can concentrate on one thing at a time. The holy grail convergence device of phone, portable gaming device, mp3 player, browser and contact book isn't for everyone...

simon h b said...

I have heard good things about the Nokia N95, but I reckon my phone's got a good year left in it yet - by which time I guess there'll be an iPhone 2.0 to compare with.

I take my laptop on trips with me, but it's not the sort of thing I want to be lumbering about with on trips to the zoo and so on.

You're right about the industry being keener on convergence than the public are, although wouldn't the phone still interrupt you if you were listening to a separate mp3 player?

Duncan said...

If I'm honest I'm not that big a net surfer at the zoo :)

Nah, just kidding - I understand what you're getting at. It's about passing time online when you're bored in a public place.

I think she means that she doesn't hear her phone ring when she's listening to her mp3 player, and quite likes it that way. After all, if it's important, they'll call back :)

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