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Innovation

Quick thoughts on the Zune HD

I wasn't going to write anything about the Zune HD, but I've just peeked at my inbox and already seem several emails asking me what I think ... OK, here, in as few words as possible, is what I think of the Zune HD.

I wasn't going to write anything about the Zune HD, but I've just peeked at my inbox and already seem several emails asking me what I think ... OK, here, in as few words as possible, is what I think of the Zune HD.

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From a technical standpoint the Zune HD is pretty impressive. But the problem is that pretty much everything about the Zune HD ends up being compared against Apple's iPod touch. On several fronts the Zune HD is better than the iPod touch - the OLED is better, the design is certainly sleeker, and it has some snazzy features such as the ability to sync wirelessly with PCs. It's also the first device to feature the NVIDIA Tegra HD "computer on a chip" processor. Critically, the battery life is also better than that of the iPod touch. The downside ... well, basically the main downside for most consumers will be that it doesn't have the Apple logo on the back. Sad, but true I'm afraid ...

And that's the problem, because the Zune HD is a good year too late entering the market. The iPod touch has two years of betterment and refinement (and market share) over the Zune HD and that's a big hurdle to overcome. While there's definitely a market to exploit, and the Zune HD has enough to separate it from the other contenders, I can't see it capturing more than a small sliver of market share.

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