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NPD: Zune Has Strong Initial Sales

Port Washington, N.Y. — Microsoft has won a 9 percent unit share of consumer portable digital audio players in the week ended Nov. 18, according to The NPD Group.

The research company reported a 13 percent dollar share for Microsoft’s new $249 Zune, making it the No. 2 portable digital audio supplier for the week.

However, Apple remained the clear leader with 63 percent unit share and 72.5 percent dollar share for the week, said NPD.

“Microsoft attracted early adopters in a successful launch week for Zune, eking out Sandisk as the No. 2 digital audio player vendor,” said Ross Rubin, NPD director of industry analysis. “This was especially impressive given Zune’s single-capacity configuration and relatively high price point. However, Apple still retained dominant share during the week and Zune was still outsold by PlaysForSure-compatible players in aggregate.”

Zune sales for November were mixed according to three retailers polled by TWICE.

A spokesman for New York’s J& R Music World said the Zune is “doing extremely well and we’re very pleased.”

Another retailer said sales were selling far below expectations, noting, “I don’t think they did enough marketing.” He added that many customers had not heard of the product.

A third said sales were moderate, but no where near the levels of the iPod.

On Amazon’s lists of top selling electronics products overall, the Zune on Nov. 29 was ranked No. 64, while the iPod is No. 1.

“We are very happy with consumer reception to Zune and its sales over the past two weeks. All signs indicate that we are on track to meet our internal business projections, and we’re confident that Zune will only continue to gain traction and momentum through the holiday season and beyond,” according to Jason Reindorp, Microsoft’s marketing director of Zune.