Is This The Year The Zune HD Finally Catches/Overtakes The iPod?
A lot of buzz has been created around the Zune HD. Ever since the leaked marketing pictures and Microsoft finally announcing the device, people have been saying that this device might be a worthy competitor to the ever popular iPod touch. With Wifi enabled, a wifi zune marketplace and web browser and OLED screen, the Zune HD might be set to make big waves in the mp3 market. But can it make that leap or will Microsoft flunk this test? Your thoughts please?
I don't know if that's even possible at this point... at least not from one device. I think the Zune HD will carve out a niche for itself and then combined with the Zune brand as a whole they'll be able to compete with Apple's iPod brand in more serious manner.
One thing is for sure though, with Tegra and the beautiful screen employed by the Zune HD, it definitely kicks things up a notch in Microsoft's favor.
I completely agree with you. I don't think Microsoft's goal is to overtake the iPod. I think their goals are much more realistic. When they launched Bing, they never expected to beat Google. All they wanted was to slowly chip away at it's dominance. From what I've seen of the Zune HD; I've liked. I think when it launches they will see some improvements in market share. What matters though is how they continue to evolve and better their products.
As a Zune owner, I absolutely love it, and I think it has a certain group of people that thoroughly enjoy the zune, and will also enjoy the zune HD. Will it overtake the iPod? Maybe, but it will take quite a long time to convert that many customers when theres so many people that have bought nothing but iPods for their mp3 players.
I will definitely buy a Zune HD (if it's thin and the build quality is nice), but I doubt that this will "kill" the iPod. We need to remember why Windows won't be unseated anytime soon. It is the platform that EVERYTHING runs on. The iPod and iPhone have an AMAZING amount of applications and they are really easy to get. The Zune won't have this (at least for awhile).
I am really hoping that the Zune HD can, at least, capture 20% marketshare. That way, both companies will continue to push in this space of truly mobile computing.
Even if doing this doesn't beat out the iPod, which realistically would be difficult to do at this point. At least Microsoft is doing something right with what they have. Making the Zune an extremely good alternative to whats out now.
I think people are underestimating how well the zune hd will do once microsoft begins to leverage it's xbox ecosystem. Combining the zune & xbox video marketplaces is just the first step. Once they begin to put some xbox arcade games onto it then xbox fans will come over in droves (even if they already own an ipod/iphone). Just wait till MS decides to let the next Halo game use yhe HD as some sort of secondary screen over it's wifi. Hell it would be cool if they just let you use it as a keyboard for the xbox.
I can't wait for the zune HD...the possibilities are endless.
I think it may be very unlikely. But why can't we just have a quality product in the PMP market without it *always* having to kill the iPod? That goal is far to enormous to accomplish in the current Zune's time-frame since it has been released. It would take years.
I was just thinking the same thing!!! No one really cares if it 'kills' the iPod. If it brings something new to the table, has an innovative design (from the pics, i'd say yes), has a smooth ui (yes) and most important has an eye-catching marketing campaign and is offered outside the U.S. , then it will do well. You can't kill the iPod at this point. apple will have to become unresponsive to its consumers (what up Sprint) or become lazy in innovation (fist-bump to Palm b4 the Pre) for it to lose significant market share or a company will have come up with some unknown that will catch the tech world by surprise and LEAP ahead of Apple. One of these will surely happen eventually but from where i sit, as long as the competition stays on their a@@, Apple will be in the lead for awhile longer. And from the innovation and design standpoint coming from the likes of the ZuneHD, Palm Pre, and HTC Hero, this seems to be a good thing :]
Totally agree. When the first Zunes came out the headlines were to the effect of "Microsoft's iPod Killer" even though Microsoft had specifically stated that they didn't want to compete with Apple. Personally, I just never want to go back to using iTunes. That really sucked - it comes with this virus called QuickTime that you can't remove from your computer and constantly causes popups.
Perfectly agree with you. Quicktime, at least on Windows pc, is a VIRUS. I own a macbook pro 15 (MBP) and a hp windows laptop. On MBP Quicktime is useful somehow in watching videos, though I prefer VLC. What is most annoying on windows pc is that Quicktime insists on adding itself to your Startup programs!
As for Zune HD, I'm also happy at the design I've seen. More choices to the consumer is always a good thing. Why would anyone want it to be an iPod killer is beyond me. All we need is more choices as these drives further innovation and the consumers are the winner.
agreed pretty much all Apple applications run horribly on Windows... I have a mac though and they run much better, I think they're written very poorly for Windows. Anyways, I hope this Zune HD is really sucessful, not just because it's good competition for Apple and makes sure that they update their specs on the iPod Touch and forces them to release models that are at least competitive pricing with Microsoft's Zune. In addition, I actually want to try the Zune HD, and if it is sucessful enough they may release a mac client of Zune software, which I would love to play around with because from what I understand it is basically an Adobe air app (which should be able to be ported to Mac OS X effortlessly). I have used the zune software on Windows, and it's awesome. Incredibly fluid interface, and very simple system of buying and sharing, and also features a bit of a social network with the Zune social stuff (which initially was a flop... remember "Welcome to the Social"??). Anyways, I've ranted / gave enough of my two cents. Make an awesome product Microsoft please, I've been dying to see some competition in the mp3/mp4 player market, and I'm tired of seeing Apple beat the shit out of all the other similar music players.
Like others have said, I believe because of how many iPod units that Apple has moved its market dominance won't be changing anytime soon. However, not everyone wants to have an iPod and I think that's the crowd Microsoft will have. The Zune HD looks like an amazing (and very powerful) device and I can't wait to get my hands on it.
I only find it natural to compare a new PMP player with touchscreen to the iPod Touch. Like many of you already said I don't think it will "overtake" or "kill" the iPod anytime soon, but this isn't bad. If the only objective to launch a PMP was to overtake the iPod, nobody would launch any. I just hope they play their cards right and give things that the iPod Touch doesn't offer. For example more compatibility, I want to transfer a normal ".avi" movie I download or do myself without converting it. Or they could drop the price, just sell it a a reasonable cheaper price than the iPod Touch.
Will it be the iPod killer? No. For the average Joe out there, there's only one name in PMPs: Apple. It's not because they're fanboys or anything. It's because they don't pay attention to the market. For example I was in my car with a friend who pointed at my Zune 80 I have mounted and asked "Is that an Apple?" Anyone who pays attention to the market would know, if nothing else, it's not an Apple. To overcome that name recognition with one device would be quite the undertaking. Now is this a device that could compete with the iPod touch feature by feature? Very much so. I think this is the next big step by MS to get a hold of the iPod's market share. I've already had a number of iPod owners play with my Zune and be impressed to the point where I think they would consider one for their next PMP. The Zune HD will do even more of that as people get them in their hands and show them to their friends.
Another big selling point for me is the integration with my 360. I use my 360 as a front end and being able to stream my content from my zune collection to the 360 is a huge plus for me. I just hope that Microsoft really improves the Zune 360 relationship.
I agree with you and everyone else who's brought up Xbox integration. The ZuneHD can gain some decent marketshare by leveraging the Live Marketplace (and a bigger push on the XNA Community Games), but overtaking the iPod is years away, if ever.
Of course, it's obvious that ZuneHD is just the beginning once you include Windows Mobile 7's same hardware requirements, and despite not getting a lot of 'digital ink' in the tech press, Microsoft has a huge following in the smart phone market.
This is where they'll have the best chance of getting a good piece of the mindshare.
It will probably never overtake the iPod. I'm one of the people who bought a Zune 120 mainly because it was NOT an Apple. With the massive market proliferation, I even find myself, an Apple Hater, slipping and calling it an iPod.
That being said, I think there are a lot of Xbox360 owners who can now be leveraged to Zune ownership. The more that the Zune (relatively unsuccessful) can seamlessly integrate with the Xbox360 (major player) then better it will be for both products.
The real shame is that Microsoft will go out of their way to one-up the iPod on each comparable iteration of the Zune and the market won't notice the better product. Just the better supported product.
I think the new Zune HD will have good sale results, although, i do not think it can/will ever compare to a ipod. I own a 80gb zune and don't get me wrong i absolutely love it but lets be serious most people will buy an ipod just for the fact that it is an iPod. Apple has alot of great products, many of which i wish i had (haha) but Microsoft's Zune is very nice also for alot less $$$. Though, I do very much like the apps for ipods and wish Zune could do something like that also. I believe the Zune HD will be more successful than it's earlier models, but most people will still go for the ipod.
True, a lot of people buy iPods and Macs just because they are cool and stylish including myself and this time I really do like what Microsoft has created. I never really liked zunes but this one looks cool but I'm curious to see what the battery life will be.
The Zune HD is a step in the right direction, but I don't think Zune will overtake the iPod market anytime in the next few years. In fact I don't think Microsoft even cares about taking over the PMP market, since they do very little to market the Zune to the mainstream consumers. To me the Zune feels almost like a side project or an experiment from Microsoft.
To beat Apple they would have to make a truly revolutionary device that would make iPods seem like yesterday's news, and I honestly don't see MS doing that. While the Zunes can compete head to head with their iPod counterparts, they are not leaps and bounds better so there's no reason for people to switch.
I hope I'm not sounding like an Apple fanboy, I actually own a Zune 80 which I think is one of the best PMPs around. But let's be honest, Microsoft was years late to the mp3 player market, so it's going to be very hard for them to get people away from the established Apple ecosystem, which works great for the average consumer.
No, the Zune HD won't catch or overtake the iPod touch in 09/10, at least not in U.S. or worldwide sales. Will it have the better hardware all in all? No, the iPod touch 09 (3rd generation) will have most likely better hardware. The rest (price, capacity, software, design etc.): we don't know yet and don't have enough data to extrapolate. But since neither the Zune HD nor the next iPod touch will be released before September we don't really have anything to lose in waiting.
"No, the iPod touch 09 (3rd generation) will have most likely better hardware."
Source? The ZuneHD uses the Tegra chipset(weaker cpu but far superior GPU, plus massively better battery life), has 720p output(meaning it can compete directly with Apple TV), and has HD radio. First of all we know nothing about the iPod Touch 3G(not even whether will come out this year), and beyond that even if/when it does come out it's unlikely it'd one-up the iPhone in any features except for maybe capacity(though given the current prices, 64GB would probably be priced to the point of being ridiculous.). Hate to start a flame war, but it's highly unlikely that the 3rd gen iPod Touch will have better hardware.
"The ZuneHD uses the Tegra chipset(weaker cpu but far superior GPU, plus massively better battery life), has 720p output(meaning it can compete directly with Apple TV), and has HD radio."
The ZuneHD also has an OLED screen. So that's OLED, Tegra, 720p output, HD radio.
On the other side you have the iPod touch. I think it is save to assume that there will be a new model in September, everything points toward it (iPod refresh cyle other the last x years, 3 times in a row an iPhone in June/July and iPod touch in September etc.). The question is what it will be based on. Will Apple keep the iPod touch 2nd gen hardware (SoC) and keep in sync with the iPhone 3G or will it update the hardware to the iPhone 3GS level. In any case it is reasonable to expect that the other specs and design won't change a lot. But Apple will most likely add at least one of the iPhone exclusive features to the iPod touch line (Mic/Speaker, camera or GPS, my money is on camera).
Now let's compare the hardware:
- Display: I would say it depends on what's important to you. OLEDs have better colors, refresh rates and are brighter. The iPod touch LCD is bigger, has a higher resolution and is more readable in the sunlight.
- Tegra: Compared to the iPod touch 2nd gen hardware it is more powerful, but not as powerful as the 3GS CPU and GPU hardware (Cortex-A8 plus SGX53x).
- 720p output: From what we know and can reasonably assume the ZuneHD wins in that department
- HD radio: Another win for the ZuneHD
- Capacity: It's more likely that the iPod will have 64GB than the ZuneHD (64GB are cheaper for Apple than Microsoft, simply because Apple buys a lot more of it, and the last years the iPod touch always doubled the iPhone capacity).
So if Apple keeps the iPod touch 2nd gen hardware then yes, the ZuneHD looks to be on par or bit more powerful (depends what's important to you). But if Apple uses the 3GS hardware then the iPod touch is clearly more powerful then the ZuneHD.
And I believe Apple will use some version of the 3GS SoC, because of their ambitions in the mobile gaming market or at least they will offer two different models like with the iPhone, a 16GB with 2nd gen hardware and 32GB and 64GB with 3GS hardware. Apple also needs to motivate developers to develop for the 3GS hardware, and since nearly half the iPhone OS devices out there are iPods it's very important to push the new hardware in the iPod touch as well.
I know it's all (imho solid) speculation, but the whole topic is based around speculation since we don't even know the full specs, release date and price of the ZuneHD and know even less of the next iPod touch.
1. All the features coming with the Zune HD have not been released.
2. Tegra is a multicore Arm11 CPU and the Geforce GPU is faster that the PowerVR SGX. Five+ years ago the Geforce GPU of the same type as the Tegra destroyed the PowerVR Kyro boards in gaming and features.
3. The SGX GPU can't do AA / AF 800 x 480 Quake III at 45+ fps. Tegra CAN! Check the video here: techreport.com/discussions.x/14864
4. the original 32GB iPod touch didn't come out after a few months of the 1st Gen release.
"2. Tegra is a multicore Arm11 CPU and the Geforce GPU is faster that the PowerVR SGX. Five+ years ago the Geforce GPU of the same type as the Tegra destroyed the PowerVR Kyro boards in gaming and features."
Tegra APX 2500 uses the ARM11 MPCore, but in a single-core configuration.
"NVIDIA uses an ARM11 MPCore in the APX 2500, but it's only single-core. So why even bother with MPCore? The reasons are simple: they already had the license from a few years ago, it's in no way worse than a plain ARM11, and they thought it'd be good experience for the chips they'll make in the future." www.beyond3d.com/content/articles/101/1
Tegra will be better than Cortex 8 no matter how you slice it. Tegra is multicore Arm11 CPU with a Geforce GPU, include the High Definition (HD) encoding/decoding support and the amazing battery life then talk back..
The 3rd gen iPod Touch will use the same hardware as the iPhone 3GS and if Apple decides to run the SOC there at higher frequencies that thing will overheat and drain the battery like no tomorrow.
I don't think the Zune HD will overtake the iPod. I don't think it is mathematically possible. However I do believe that it will overtake the iPod as being the better device. I love my iPod to death, but this looks freaking good. Can't wait until it comes out.
I heard Zune HD in early September. I am an iPhone owner, and I would seriously consider dropping money on this thing if it had a) great sound and b) great games/apps. I already have gaming and music on my phone, but I would carry another device if it could significantly improve on the sound quality and gaming of my current device.
With that thought in mind, I wonder what's going to happen with the next generation iPod Touch. Even faster processor than the 3GS? I wouldn't mind having a solid camera on a device as slim as an iPod as well.
This is an understandable question, not a realistic one, though.
I can assure you that Microsoft's intention with the product is not to "overtake" Apple's iPod. Perhaps they can start a line of products which can "compete" with the iPod touch, but it'd be impossible for one device to simply leapfrog such an establish consumer product as the iPod line, which is almost to 200 million units moved.
What Microsoft intends to do is make a dent. In this case, marketshare doesn't matter much, they just want to sell a product (which may or may not actually outperform the touch), collect a profit from it, and use it to expand the reach and sales of the Zune Marketplace. As long as they profit from it, they'll consider it a success and continue the line.
I'm sorry to say that I think that microsoft is too late on taking over apple in the mp3 market business. I really want the zune HD to do well, I will definitely be one of their first customers to buy it. but look at it this way, as long as apple is ahead, microsoft will keep working harder to catch up with them with more features and hardware.