zune at $250; quaking in cupertino
September 28, 2006
Well, not really. But Reuters is reporting that Microsoft has elected to reduce its asking price for the Zune to $250 in an effort to compete more directly with the iPod. As a result, the company will be selling the players at a loss, though we can hope that executive Scott Erickson’s insistence that the platform is “a multi-year strategy” means that somehow, some day, all those sweaty engineers in Redmond will see their tireless efforts pay off–literally, that is.
The $0.99 songs from the “Zune Marketplace” (how catchy) surely won’t bring in much cash either, considering the well-known tiny profit margins for the iTunes Store. Now, this doesn’t necessarily spell doom for the whole Zune project assuming those new-fangled file-sharing features work as advertised and can actually stimulate the interest of your average 18-24-year-old consumer, and that that consumer can tear himself away from iPod/iTunes ecosystem and its attendant attractions (beauty, elegance, Jobsian mystique et al.–Zune isn’t big in those areas).
But this is Microsoft: if they can’t do it, who can?
Update: Amazon has made the Zune available for pre-order at $249.99 for each of the three color choices (brown, white, and black) and has also put up pages for several accessory gizmos designed to make your Zune more…Zuneriffic. You’ll find all of that here.
–D. S. W.