updated 09:30 am EDT, Fri June 26, 2009
Zune HD Price Leak
When it ships later this year, the Zune HD could cost as much or more than the iPod touch by the time both updates are released this year, an additional leak said Thursday. An interview with a previous source on Neowin cautions that prices aren't "set in stone" but has the base 16GB model costing between $249 and $279, or at least as much as the Zune 120 does today. A current 16GB clickpad Zune costs $179.
The insider also supports notions of a 32GB version and adds that a 64GB model is possible later in the Zune HD's life cycle, though he doesn't say what the larger-capacity model might cost.
Such a price could potentially hurt the Zune HD, as Apple is widely assumed to be lowering the price on its 16GB iPod touch from its current $299 for its next revision. The Microsoft player is likely to cost more through its use of a multi-touch OLED screen, which should produce more accurate colors than Apple's LCD, as well as the NVIDIA Tegra chip that supports decoding 720p video.
Besides capacity, the source also claims that the Zune Marketplace will finally add movies and should match Apple in offering 720p, though unlike Apple will have the hardware necessary to play these movies directly on the Zune, including at native resolution through HDMI output. To match, the Zune 4.0 software is claimed to evolve into an entertainment center app, while the Zune HD itself will integrate with other Microsoft services; the company has already hinted at some level of Xbox tie-in.
While it's unclear how much of the information will prove true by the rumored early September launch of the new Zune, the source claims that Microsoft is aware of the leaks and is allowing them to continue, suggesting the company sees leaks as a form of early marketing.