updated 11:25 am EDT, Mon May 28, 2007
1M Zunes Sold
Microsoft is already ahead of its shipment targets for the Zune, Microsoft Entertainment head Robbie Bach has revealed today in an interview. The executive noted that Microsoft has sold "a little over a million" of the 30GB players by late May, putting it ahead of the million-unit target set for June. Zunes also have a "pretty typical" attach rate per player for songs bought from the Zune Marketplace, Bach said, though the company hopes to expand its online shop beyond its traditional layout. He further hinted that the Zune's Wi-Fi could be used in the future for more than just Zune-to-Zune sharing after eventual software upgrades.
Bach was also particularly warm to Apple. Competing with the California firm is "fun" because the company is very skilled and a "worthy" challenger, he said. He also contradicted Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's controversial remarks on the iPhone and observed that it should be an interesting device that garners its fair share of attention.
"Apple is very good at design; they come up with interesting approaches to products," Bach said. "Like anything else, it will have its trade-offs. It will be pretty high priced, and just on the Cingular (AT&T) network. But, it's an Apple product. It'll attract its level of attention from Apple enthusiasts, and we'll see where it goes from there. And it's a new concept, highly integrated."
The executive contextualized the compliments, however. Microsoft's Windows Mobile team had no intention of changing its more conventional approach to smartphones and already has an edge over BlackBerry creator Research In Motion for sales. Centering on an individual class of phone was said to be inappropriate given the sheer scope of the mobile phone business.
"We think phones are deeply personal," he added. "Some people want a flip phone, some people want a candy bar, some people want a QWERTY keyboard, some people want a touch screen, some people want music phones -- people have different needs."