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Zunes Come Up Short

12 Dec, 2007 By: Billy Gil

Microsoft Corp.'s Zune 80 Portable Media Player is in short supply or backordered at such retailers as Amazon.com. It's likely because of caution on the part of Microsoft, says Chris Crotty, senior analyst for consumer electronics at iSuppli Corp.

“Given the widespread criticism of the first Zune model, it is likely Microsoft erred on the side of caution when placing initial orders for the new Zunes, which include the hard-disk-drive based Zune 80, as well as the flash-memory-based Zune 4 and 8,” Crotty said.

The company says Microsoft took a passive approach with the Zune, waiting a year to follow up its initial launch with the Zune 80 and flash-based models, and that a likely strategy for Microsoft has been to take customers from non-Apple portable music player distributors, rather than from Apple's iPod, which dominates the field. Global shipments in 2007 of portable music and MP3 players will hit 211.5 million units, with revenue of $19.5 billion, according to iSuppli forecasts.

The full report is available at www.isuppli.com/catalog/detail.asp?id=8548.

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