2nd Generation Zune Tanking

Feb 7th, 2008 | By | Category: iPods & Portable Media Players

The Zunetanic

When Microsoft introduced the 2nd generation Zune portable media players last fall, it was clear that they’d done a lot to catch up with Apple’s iPods.

If Amazon’s sales are any indicator, though, Microsoft’s 2nd Zune sales have tanked since their introduction.

Apple’s iPods continue to dominate the list of top MP3 players at Amazon, holding eight of the top ten places. In fact, as of this writing, Microsoft’s 2nd generation Zunes don’t even make it into Amazon’s top 25.

It looks like Microsoft may be slashing prices on the 2nd generation Zunes in an attempt to generate interest and keep their latest player from becoming another Zunetanic. Microsoft has slashed the Estimated Retail Price for Zune 8 players from $199.99 to 179.99.

The Zune Is Still iPwned

Last October, we noted Five Reasons iPods Still Beat Zunes:

  • Zunes are still boring. With the exception of the Zune’s wireless features, its hardware is competitive with iPods – from about two years ago.
  • Microsoft still wants you to use the points system to buy stuff. We haven’t used the points system since grade school, where the teachers would take off points if you talked out of turn, acted up, or in any other way failed to conform to the man. Lose too many points, and no recess for you!
  • The Zune has no content. The Zune store has about three million songs – or about half of what’s available in the iTunes music store. When it comes to podcast support, Microsoft has a tiny fraction of what’s in Apple’s directory. Other popular iPod features, like games, are missing in action.
  • Limited accessories – Zune accessories are hard to come by. This is enough of a liability that Microsoft made a point of releasing its own line of accessories with the new Zunes, mentioning leather cases, sync cables and AC adapters in its announcement. Meanwhile, the iPod has so many bizarre accessories competing for your attention that we had to coin a new word for it all.
  • It’s still a Zune. Microsoft’ first generation Zune got a lukewarm reaction, because the hardware was uninspired, the software was buggy and the Zune didn���t have much content. Microsoft’s introduction of the first generation Zune was a debacle, creating a stigmatized platform. You can put lipstick on a pig – but a Zune is still a Zune.

We’d like to see Apple’s iPods get some strong competition, to help drive prices down and move portable media players forward. Microsoft’s Zune isn’t it.

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No Responses to “2nd Generation Zune Tanking”

  1. Jason Wright says:

    I currently own both iPods and Zunes and the Zunes definitely beat the iPods hands down. I prefer the interface and customization of the Zune. It’s also much more durable and I find the controls easier to use. Feature wise it has an FM radio which is nice to listen to live local shows everyonce in a while and the wireless sharing is really nice when you know other’s with Zunes. It still has room for improvement but compared to the iPod it wins.

  2. […] 2nd Generation Zune Tanking This is sad news – I think that the 2nd generation Zune is actually a very cool piece of hardware. It is very podcast friendly and has a lot of cool features. Oh well, guess that the iPod continues its reign…not that that’s necessarily all bad. But c (tags: zue slump podcast portable media player) […]

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