updated 11:55 am EDT, Tue May 26, 2009
MS Zune Trade Up Leak
Microsoft has potentially signaled its plans to clear out stock of its current-generation players through word of an upgrade plan that may start in June. The program as described by Zune Scene would mostly be intended for Zune 30 owners out of warranty and would give them large discounts on second-generation players that vary in scope depending on the storage of the player. Moving to a basic Zune 4 would drop the price of a Zune 4 down to $70, or $30 off its usual cost; the exchange would provide $70 off a Zune 16 or higher, providing the strongest incentive to trade in for one of Microsoft's newer players.
The program reportedly isn't intended for retail and would instead be offered through Microsoft's Zune support channel. Why this is, and whether other Zune owners have the same option, isn't explained.
In past years, Microsoft has tended to allow significant discounts on Zunes in the last few months before they're replaced with newer models in an effort to clear stock ahead of the new release. This year, most expect some or all of the current "clickpad" Zunes to be replaced with the Zune HD, Microsoft's first touchscreen player.