One million Zunes so soon? Maybe not.
Microsoft announced Wednesday that it expects to sell one million of Zunes by the end of June. CNET has a straight ahead take on the announcement, noting that Zune marketing director Jason Reindorp says the company feels "pretty good about that number," and that the only big shocker is that brown is the most popular color for Zunes. "Brown is definitely a polarizing color," says Reindorp. "You either love it or you hate it."
But some of the more grumpy blogs don't buy Redmond's optimism. Indeed, NPD reported just last week that the Zune dropped from second to fifth in the U.S. market for digital media players. Could there be damage control at work here?
TechDirt compares the spin to that of a politician."First they try to build up as much hype as possible. Then when it looks like the poll numbers aren't coming in as high as they promised, they insist that they expected it would be a tough fight. But when all the pundits start writing off the politician as dead, they come back and say things are trending up."
Besides, says a TechDirt reader, "The 1M number in June would mean that Microsoft expects zero slowdown in sales after the holiday season - an assumption which bucks every historical trend for any product category during the last ten years."
The real test for the Zune, says paidContent, will arrive soon as the 30-day return period after the Zune's Nov. 14 launch comes to a close. Tune in to see if the tricky try-it-and-return-it-types start dumping their toys.
I would almost guarantee that Microsoft will "sell" the million Zunes by June '07. Why? Because they have so much cash on hand so that they can "sell" however many units they need to hit that target number, tout the achievement, write off the expense as marketing and advertising, and then turn around and donate the units somewhere. [Buy new computer (or a Happy Meal), get a Zune free!]
After all, they didn't say they'd sell them on an open market, just that they'd get sold.
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