After a decent debut month, it seems that Microsoft's Zune has failed to gain much in the way of traction against the iPod.
Market research data released by NPD Group shows that Microsoft was the number two manufacturer of hard disk drive-based media players with a 9% market share. When examining the data for both flash memory and hard disk drive players, Microsoft came in fourth place, grabbing only 1.9% of the market. Compare this to Apple, which saw their share of the hard drive market fall to 82.7% from 86.8% a year ago, but its share of the overall market is still a healthy 62.2%, much the same as it was a year ago.
If, as many analysts suspect, Apple already has a cell phone rolling out of factories in China called the iPhone, we could see a very interesting trademark battleAll this doesn't come as a surprise to me at all. The revamped iPods, especially the flash-based nano and Shuffle have struck the right balance when it comes to features verses price. Microsoft needs to expand the Zune range and introduce flash-based players pretty soon if they want to have a hope at chipping away at Apple's market share. It's a sure bet too that Microsoft needs to rethink the color schemes it offers. On Amazon.com the best selling Zune is the black one, far out-ranking the brown model. Given this data it's no wonder that Apple chose to make the 8GB iPod nano black.
In other news, the iPhone was released - but not by Apple. The iPhone is the new VoIP range from Cisco subsidiary Linksys. There are going to be seven models in all and they are aimed at home, Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) and small business users. What's far more interesting than the hardware itself is the name. iPhone has been the name that bloggers and the media have been using for a product that Apple is rumored to be launching sometime soon. Now whether Apple just screwed up and has been bitten by the secrecy that it normally shrouds products in prior to launch or maybe it had no intentions of calling any cell phone they come out with "iPhone" in the first place, one thing is for sure, Linksys's product line just got guaranteed a ton of publicity. If, as many analysts suspect, Apple already has a cell phone rolling out of factories in China called the iPhone, we could see a very interesting trademark battle, and Apple has little evidence to back up an ownership claim on the iPhone trademark.