We are working on our follow-up survey on iPod sales versus the new Microsoft Zune MP3 player. Our first survey revealed a strong preference for the iPod despite the buzz around the Zune. Now the zune has launched we are working on seeing what consumer preferences are as the Christmas shopping season gets underway.Our survey questions were the following:
Which MP3 player do you recommend?
Do you sell the Microsoft Zune?
How well is it selling?
Our survey is not complete but the early results are interestng. First, iPod remains the dominant MP3 player, recommended by 70% of our respondents. The Zune was recommended by some who cited its Wi-fi connectivity as an attractive feature. The Zune and iPod 30GB players are priced similarly so price does not seem to offer an advantage to either competitor at the 30GB density.
What is interesting at this stage is that almost 50% of our survey respondents, even those recommending the iPod as the best MP3 player cited price as a negative for the iPod as indicated there were other brands that offered enough functionality to make the lower price worthwhile for a customer. The Creative Zen was recommended as one of the options for a lower priced player, as was the Sandisk Sansa and the Transcend. One respondent from a major U.S. Electronics chain said the Transcend MP3 player was selling the best among the lower priced MP3 players.
Our survey is not complete and we do capture a significant number of international responses where the Zune is not yet shipping. In India our retailer respondents suggested that March 2007 is a target date for the launch in that country. Most retailers reported selling Zune’s but fewer than the number of iPod’s sold.
We will work to complete our survey in the next few days but the early tabulations look like big unit shipments for Apple again as the Christmas selling season progresses.